NFL Draft 2016

Five Thoughts From Round One

1. Treadwell it is.

In the past few weeks, the majority of first round projections slowly came around to slotting Laquon Treadwell to the Vikings at pick 23, and that’s indeed what happened. From what I can tell, the fanbase was more or less split between Treadwell and TCU’s Josh Doctson, but the Vikes didn’t have to make that call—Doctson went one pick earlier to the Redskins.

The first round fell in a favorable way for Minnesota, with Treadwell, Myles Jack, Robert Nkemdiche, et al., all available at 23. Corey Coleman was the first receiver picked (15th to the Browns), and surprisingly, Will Fuller was the next (21 to the Texans). That left the Vikings guaranteed to have the chance to select either Doctson or Treadwell, which was a pretty ideal scenario.

2. The next Dez Bryant?

So not everybody’s sold on Laquon. But the overall reaction, both locally and nationally, has been positive. For a player who was considered the top receiver in the draft until at least February, getting him near the end of the first round amounts to a good pick, speed concerns or not. In fact, CBS’s Pete Prisco came especially hard with his Treadwell opinion:

Yes, the next Dez Byrant. I’d suggest we pump the brakes a touch on that kind of expectation, but we can dream, can’t we?

Mike Mayock and SI’s Doug Farrar also think the Vikings got a winner.

3. The gas mask and the fall of Laremy Tunsil.

Once considered the number one overall pick, Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil slid all the way to pick 13 after a video surfaced just as the draft was starting of him smoking (what is assumed to be) pot out of a gas mask. This has already been given ample coverage, so I won’t waste much more time here, but what a bizarre story. Tunsil’s agent alleges Tunsil’s Twitter (and Instagram) account was hacked, and the video was from high school.

Tunsil later admitted to taking money from his college coaches after images were released from his Instagram messages. I feel for Tunsil, who had a pretty serious damper put on what should’ve been one of the happiest nights of his life. Some estimate he lost in the neighborhood of $10 million from the slide.

4. Vikings wanted Fuller?

Not sure what to make of this, but there were rumblings from beat writers that Will Fuller was the true target.

Craig later pulled back on his assessment a bit, and who knows how much of this was posturing and smoke screens. But it does remind me of when the Vikings were rumored to be trying to move up to draft Johnny Manziel, but ended up with Teddy Bridgewater. Maybe true, maybe false, but most likely ended up for the best.

5. Myles Jack. Man.

Also from the unfortunate personal happenings department, Myles Jack, thought to be at the very least a top-ten prospect, went undrafted in the first round amid concerns about his injured knee. Jack admitted Wednesday he may need microfracture surgery somewhere down the line, and that clearly scared teams off. Now, he’ll have to sweat out day two of the draft, and it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll go.

Still, I have to think someone will take a chance on Jack in the second (or, at the latest, third) round. There’s too much talent there. Many in the VT live chat were clamoring for Rick Spielman to trade back into the end of the first round to select Jack, and I admit I may have been one of them. Now, there will be a chance to get him in round two, and we can dream of the all-UCLA linebacking corps for at least one more day.

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Sam Neumann

Sam Neumann is a freelance writer and lifelong Vikings apologist. He has seen his share of Vikings-related heartbreak, but believes we are united by the hope that one day that norse ship will come in. Sam is the author of three books, including the New York Times Bestseller Memoirs of a Gas Station. He lives in Denver, Colorado, and has had it with Broncos fans. You can follow him on twitter @NeumSamN.

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  1. Is it too much to hope that Jacks free-fall lasts another 22 picks or so? How sweet would it be to address our top need in the 1st round, then get a top-10 talent as a gravy injury-risk flier in the 2nd?