You can’t always get what you want. It’s a fact, and has been long before the Rolling Stones sang it in 1969. No matter how badly you want something, and in this case, a something is a someone in the 2016 NFL Draft, it doesn’t always work out the way you’d planned. I, for one, want the Minnesota Vikings to draft TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson. He’s been the subject of my past two mock draft updates, but sadly, that’s going to change today.
With less than two weeks remaining before the first round of the Draft, the chatter is louder than it has been all offseason. Analysts are firing off their remaining few scouting reports and rumors are flying from team source to reporter to Twitter at an alarming rate. The “leak” that caught my eye — aside from an early look at the Vikings’ Color Rush uniforms — concerned Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell:
"Nobody expects him, that I talk to, nobody and I mean nobody expects to go in the top 20" – @MoveTheSticks on his pod re: Laqoun Treadwell
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) April 13, 2016
Long considered the top receiver in the class, Treadwell’s suffered an ugly draft collapse since running a surprisingly slow 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Treadwell’s lack of top-flight speed could keep him out of the top-15, making the Rebels receiver a possible selection for the Vikings at No. 23.
For months, the argument has been Treadwell vs. Doctson. Both receivers are considered first round prospects, even if their strengths come in different shapes, sizes, and speeds. While Doctson was one of college football’s most productive receivers at TCU, he also played in a pass-first offense that catered to his strengths. With above-average speed and a catch radius to put cornerbacks to shame, Doctson dominated his Big-12 competition, flashing with his ability to win nearly every 50/50 battle for the football.
Treadwell, on the other hand, is a much bigger receiver; a player with the size to box out defenders, win against the press at the line of scrimmage, and haul in contested catches down the field. He’s not a burner like some of the other receivers in the class, but Treadwell showed a willingness to improve certain aspects of his game after a serious leg injury in 2014. Most notably, he made strides in the running game, and Matt Waldman called Treadwell “by far the best run blocker in the class.”
In most cases, drafting Doctson or Treadwell would come down to a team’s needs and preferences at the position. If the Vikings were in a better spot — the middle of the first round — they’d have their shot at either player. But with the swing in draft stock (Doctson seemingly vaulting Treadwell), it’s likely Treadwell is the next-best receiver available when the Vikings are on the clock.
As I said on the podcast with Andy last week, I approach my mock draft like I’m realistically drafting for the Vikings. If I were in Rick Spielman’s shoes, I wouldn’t trade up five, six, or even seven spots for a wide receiver — there’s just too much depth in this year’s class to throw away valuable draft picks. It doesn’t fit Spielman’s draft tendencies, even if the team isn’t hiding its love for Doctson. The Horned Frogs star could go to any of the teams selecting before the Vikings, from the New Orleans Saints at 12 to the Detroit Lions at 16. Then again, Doctson could fall just like Treadwell.
Right now, my selection is a mix of gut feeling, Internet sleuthing, and hypothesizing. I want the Vikings to draft Doctson, and so do 42 percent of qualifying sites/bloggers. But plans change, and players can easily fall or jump in the draft because of media-driven chatter. You can’t always get what you want, and today, I’m not getting the receiver I want.
Treadwell isn’t a terrible consolation prize, though.
Read the rest of the team’s mock drafts!