Sunday, September 25, 2016

jarius wright

VT QOTW

Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson
Image(s) courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s April 28, the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft begins, and prospects start flying off of the board. Three quarterbacks are taken in the first 15 picks, a handful of offensive linemen are gone, and suddenly, the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock. Surprisingly, the top two wide receivers — Ole Miss’s Laquon Treadwell and TCU’s Josh Doctson — are still available.

Who’s the better wide receiver, and more importantly, who’s the better wide receiver for the Vikings? It’s a position of need in Minnesota, and many, many mock drafts have the Vikings selecting one of the two prospects. In an alternate universe where both are available and the Vikings do want to draft either of the two, Rick Spielman will have to make a very difficult decision. Fortunately, the Vikings Territory team is here to pull the trigger.

Would you rather have Doctson or Treadwell in the first round and why?

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A Tajae Sharpe scouting report with a Minnesota Vikings focus.

[This Tajae Sharpe Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Tajae Sharp | WR, UMass

Measurements

Height – 6’2″
Weight – 194 lbs.
Age – 21 yrs.

At First Glance

Two-time 1st team All-MAC

Projected Round:

4th – 5th Round

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One of the great mysteries of the Minnesota Vikings 2015 season was how wide receiver Charles Johnson so suddenly faded out of relevancy and why. Almost too predictably, a Charles Johnson injury is now the given reason for the lack of playing time and production.

According to ESPN‘s Ben Goessling, Johnson suffered a broken rib in Septembers game against San Diego while trying to come back for a ball that was ultimately picked off.  Johnson told Goessling that it wasn’t until the November 1st game against Chicago that he felt like he could manage the pain well enough to play effectively.

“You can’t sneeze, you can’t move, laughing hurts,” Johnson said. “But it’s all good now.”

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See my entire second 2016 NFL Mock Draft by CLICKING HERE.

Wow, was my first attempt at a mock draft wrong, or what? I speculated that the Minnesota Vikings would select Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith with the 23rd-overall pick. And just a few days later, reports surfaced that the prospect’s surgically repaired knee wasn’t as healthy as originally thought. While the pick wasn’t a “reach” at the time, it quickly became an impossible scenario, and one I hope to avoid this time around.

That’s why I’m going with the obvious, if safe choice in the second version of my mock draft; a wide receiver. The Vikings made multiple moves in free agency that would allow them to target such a player in the first round. With holes filled along the offensive line — and one created by releasing Mike Wallace — Rick Spielman can now focus his efforts on adding the best receiver in the class:

Josh Doctson, WR – TCU

Mike Wallace's future with the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The promise of production never materialized for Mike Wallace. Last spring, the Minnesota Vikings brought the speedster to Winter Park with the hope that he’d give Norv Turner’s offense a legitimate deep threat. But Wallace didn’t just struggle down the field; he hardly produced. Despite being targeted 72 times in 2015, Wallace caught just 39 passes for 473 yards and two touchdowns. His yards per catch totals fell to 12.1, the lowest mark of his career, and he averaged just 29.6 yards per game.

Wallace’s struggles go deeper than the receiver’s on-field abilities, though. Poor offensive line play, Teddy Bridgewater‘s nonexistent deep ball, and the emergence of Stefon Diggs limited his opportunities, especially as the deep threat he was meant to be. Now, general manager Rick Spielman faces a difficult decision on Wallace’s contract, one that’ll inform the team’s draft strategy in April.

Reports earlier this week indicate Spielman’s desire to work with Wallace on a pay cut. If Wallace stays in Minnesota at his current price, the Vikings will owe him $11.5 million at the start of the 2016 league year. And if a deal can’t be reached, Spielman can cut Wallace with no dead money; a favorable deal that makes drafting a wide receiver more realistic next month. Clearly, Spielman wants Wallace in purple and gold next season. But what about the VT team? What do they want?

If you’re in Rick Spielman’s shoes, do you bring Wallace back in 2016 or cut him in the offseason?

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