A popular, sensible choice (if available)
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer loves hands-on coaching. He’ll routinely step on the field with his own players, walking them through drills and sometimes, participating side-by-side with defensive backs and defensive tackles. In his two years at the helm, Zimmer’s style hasn’t changed; his son, Adam, commented on his father’s approach before the start of the 2014 season:
“He’s a perfectionist. He wants to get things exactly the way he wants it and in order to do that, he has to know everything that everybody’s doing.”
In order to get things just right, Zimmer has to get his hands dirty. At last year’s rookie minicamp, he made it a point to coach up Trae Waynes after every whistle, helping the rookie through his footwork, hand placement, and grabbiness. It’s a practice that’s familiar to Zimmer, and one that ensures he has an intimate understanding of his players’ strengths and weaknesses.
At TCU’s Pro Day last week, he and general manager Rick Spielman had front row seats to the Josh Doctson show. They watched the wide receiver run through routes and drop just one pass thrown his way. And when the workout was over, Zimmer took the TCU star to the side, where he coordinated his own drills.
— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) March 31, 2016
Specifically, Zimmer lined up a yard across from Doctson and asked him to “beat the press.” Seeing as the knocks on Doctson include his lean frame, lack of strength, and recovery from a broken wrist, Zimmer likely wanted to test one of the weaker aspects of the receiver’s game.
Doctson (obviously) made easy work of the coach, releasing off the line quickly and flashing a few moves to get around the initial press. Zimmer was never going to challenge the receiver, but he took the time and effort to step on the field and see Doctson’s talents firsthand. No other team showed such blatant interest in Doctson, and it’s clear the Vikings are seriously considering him with the 23rd-overall selection.
When the top-two members of an organization spend that much time on a prospect, they’re doing more than creating a smoke screen. If Doctson is available when the Vikings are on the clock and the team doesn’t pull the trigger, I’ll be shocked. As the team at Draft Season wrote, the TCU senior is a “natural catcher” who times his jumps well to get vertical and win most 50/50 matchups. That sounds exactly like the type of receiver the Vikings have been missing for years.
No need for a poll this time around, as my choice hasn’t changed. But while you’re here, be sure to check out all of our scouting reports HERE!