A large part of the starting positions on this Vikings team are set with veterans with one exception being first round pick Garrett Bradbury at center. If you’ve followed the team the last few years you most likely know most of their names. One name that has become more infamous than famous is former first round pick Laquon Treadwell who was supposed to be the next great wide receiver. Unknown to pretty much everyone an undrafted local guy named Adam kept shining and took reps away from the rookie as did a fifth round pick named Stephon. A number of dropped passes and inconsistent play quickly got him labeled a bust.
Last year it looked like his bad showings might be done. Some analysts noted that there were times Treadwell was open, but either due to scrambling due to spotty offensive line play or lack or vision Case Keenum was missing him. Enter Kirk Cousins. Not only did Kirk start finding the wayward wideout, but he kept throwing to him because Kirk basically said he doesn’t look at jersey numbers he looks for who is open. Treadwell started getting catches and the first half of the game in Green Bay it looked like he finally was breaking out. He scored his first career touchdown! He had a few first down catches! Then disaster in the second half as a dropped pass resulted in an interception and other drops killed drives. The game ended in a tie. The rest of the season there were a few flashes but nothing to change most fans’ minds on him. Late in the season Chad Beebe was brought up because he was showing out in practice gaining praise from players and coaches saying he was, at times “uncoverable”. Another undrafted wide receiver without much college flash passed him again.
Click here: Chad Beebe shares his thoughts
Treadwell is still with the team, but he is deep in the coaches doghouse at this point and I’m sure if the proper trade partner cam along he would be gone. Cutting him wouldn’t help the team much with the salary cap which the Vikings are tight against. So who is going to fill that third wide receiver spot? New offensive coordinator Kevin Stephanski’s offense may help determine that, but until we see it in full motion we’ll have to go off what we’re hearing. The Vikings brought in a tall, athletic player in Jordan Taylor who got notoriety with the Denver Broncos as Payton Manning’s personal rehab partner who had some great plays for Denver last year before getting injured. Taylor took the majority of snaps while Stephon Diggs was not always at non-mandatory off-season team activities. The coaches and the players took notice of his ability to out jump defensive backs and his deceptive speed. He seems to be the favorite, but Beebe is still shining. The wide receiver position isn’t just about being on the field on offense. You have to be versatile and play special teams and this is where Beebe may shine even more. His shifty running style suits him well as a punt returner and with fan favorite, and Rochester native Marcus Sherels now gone he may fill more than one role as a punt and kick returner. Jeff Badet, who the Vikings brought in last year has blazing speed and he may compete for the third receiver spot, but other than his speed he hasn’t separated himself in other areas. Olabisi Johnson has had some flashes as well with his speed and slippery nature while Dillon Mitchel has flashed as well with impressive catches. As seventh round draft picks they would really need to step up to take the third wide receiver position.
The Vikings will most likely keep five wide receivers – maybe six if they’re concerned about losing a dynamic player after the preseason, but this will be the position to watch on offense for any amount of drama in the upcoming training camps and preseason games. In my opinion, Taylor wins the job with Beebe brought in in specific scenarios. Treadwell still has a chance, but it’s definitely his last one. – Tony