Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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draft diary
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(Note: this is a running diary of Thursday night’s first round. We begin at 7 p.m. CT as the draft starts.)

And we’re off! I’m planted firmly in front of the TV with a Dewar’s on ice, and my fiancé is making dinner so I don’t have to move for at least the next three hours. She’s a keeper, that one.

After months of workouts, speculation, and endless mock drafts, the day is finally here. I’ve loved the NFL Draft since I was old enough to buy the annual Lindys Draft Guide with money I scrounged together from mowing lawns. It’s always been my favorite event on the NFL calendar. It’s evolved through the years, and moved from a Saturday/Sunday affair to a three-day jaunt, with the first round being held in primetime on Thursday. This is just fine with me; an event so grand is worthy of the evening lights.

Roger Goodell walks out to kick things off. The usual boos are audible, but mostly overcome by jubilant cheers from the fans in attendance. It almost seems as if the excitement about the event these people voluntarily paid to attend is outweighing their irrational disdain for a man they’ve never met. Odd.

Goodell: “The 2016 NFL Draft is now open. The Rams are on the clock.”

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Laquon Treadwell is definitely happy to be in Minnesota
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Laquon Treadwell wasn’t the first wide receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. He wasn’t the second receiver drafted, and he wasn’t even the third pass catcher off the board. No, that was Josh Doctson, who went one spot ahead of the Minnesota Vikings to the Washington Redskins.

The Vikings may not have gotten their guy, but Laquon Treadwell is definitely happy to be in Minnesota. While speaking with the media in a late-night conference call yesterday, he expressed gratitude for falling “to the right spot.”

“I’m just a kid coming up and chasing dreams. You always want to go as high as possible, so I was surprised, I just think I fell to the right spot. It’s just an amazing experience, honestly. I was shocked, I just thanked I went to the right program and organization. It’s just a lot for me right now.”

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Laquon Treadwell

Laquon Treadwell is the newest member of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings raiding party. We take a closer look at the young man from Ole Miss, how he overcame a gruesome injury his sophomore year to become a first round NFL pick, why I love his demeanor and maturity beyond his 20-years on this planet, and what he brings to the Vikings offense. Teddy Bridgewater, Stefon Diggs, and Norv Turner have to be very pleased getting the “Ambassador of Quon” in the building.

All that and other “Cris Carter Was Slow Too…..” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Rumor Has it The Vikings Preferred Will Fuller Or Josh Doctson

Rumor Has it The Vikings Preferred Will Fuller Or Josh Doctson

The coverage of the National Football League has changed a lot, even in the eight years that I’ve been publishing my own thoughts on the Vikings, and some of those changes make things more engaging and some annoy the heck out of me.

One of the aspects that annoys me is the annual onslaught of hot takes, amateur body language experts, and unlicensed private investigators that suddenly materialize following an NFL Draft selection such as last night’s pick of wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with the 23rd overall pick.

Minnesota’s selection of Treadwell has left no shortage of writers, professional and otherwise, arriving to a foggy conclusion that he was not their top choice at the receiver position. The narrative feels very familiar because it echos conversations that took place after the Vikings were successful in drafting Teddy Bridgewater instead of Johnny Manziel two years ago.

Some have drawn this conclusion based on language used during Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer’s post-selection press conference last night. Some may have heard rumblings about how receivers coach George Stewart felt about another prospect. Others may simply consider Teddy Bridgewater’s and Treadwell’s skill sets to be a mismatch. Some may even just be speculating, feeling duped by pre-Draft smoke, or trying to make a prediction seem slightly more accurate. Perhaps it is even a combination of the above.

I don’t know if the Vikings had Treadwell as their top receiver. I don’t know if they didn’t. What I think I know, however, is that it doesn’t really matter.

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So now that the Minnesota Vikings have filled a need at wide receiver with Laquon Treadwell, what other prospects will catch their eye on day two of the NFL Draft? Heading into the draft’s second day, the Vikings currently hold the 23rd picks in both the second and third rounds.

Then again, anything can happen when Rick Spielman is your team’s general manager.

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