The Minnesota Vikings kept one of their own in Adam Thielen this offseason, and yet, wide receiver remains a position of need heading into 2017. Despite retaining the ever-underrated Thielen, the Vikings watched Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson skip town for greener pastures.
Earlier this week, head coach Mike Zimmer addressed the exodus and expressed his desire to add more talent at the position. “I do think we need some more receivers, yes,” Zimmer said, per Vikings.com. “I think it’d be important for us to get some guys that can stretch the field a little bit.”
One of those potential targets is Rod Streater, who Chris Tomasson reports is on Minnesota’s radar. Tomasson tweeted this afternoon the Vikings are “looking at Streater,” who spent the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks, Browns, Colts, and 49ers are also in the mix, per Tomasson.
Last season, in Chip Kelly’s lackluster 49ers offense, Streater started two games, caught 18 passes for 191 yards, and scored two touchdowns. His numbers weren’t impressive, but numberFire writer Dan Pizzuta called Streater San Francisco’s most efficient wide receiver in 2016. Before his one-year stint with the 49ers, Streater’s best season came in 2013, when he caught 60 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders.
An undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2012, Streater caught the attention of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie with a 40-yard dash time of 4.36 seconds; his personal best leading up to the NFL Draft. He started two games his rookie year, scoring three touchdowns along the way, but injuries prevented Streater from reaching his full potential.
Midway through the 2014 season, Streater underwent foot surgery and found himself on the Injured Reserve/designated to return list. The following year, he missed multiple preseason games with an undisclosed illness and was a healthy scratch for most of the season; his absence opened the door for Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Andre Holmes, and Seth Robers in Oakland’s explosive offense.
Without a spot on the roster, Streater tested the open market and found a home with the Kansas City Chiefs before the 2016 season. He was eventually traded to the 49ers and again finds himself on a roster with too many bodies—10 to be exact—at the position.
Despite what Minnesota has in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, the depth chart lacks a player who can attack a secondary deep down the field. Thielen’s underrated in that regard, but he’s more a do-it-all technician than someone like Streater, who at 29 still has the speed to run past cornerbacks. Laquon Treadwell isn’t a burner, and adding a player like Streater on the cheap would serve to improve the Vikings’ dink-and-dunk passing attack.