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.
Here is a fact: When you have the 23rd pick in the NFL Draft and choose not to sacrifice future picks to move forward, then 22 players will get selected ahead of you.
Here is another fact: Of those 22 players, there is a good chance you would like to draft them instead of the players that end up being available to you.
So, in the end, what does it matter if Josh Doctson and/or Will Fuller were ahead of Treadwell on Minnesota’s big board? They opted not to mortgage any future picks to move up which in itself is a testament to their comfort level with Treadwell being a clear possibility as their best remaining option at 23rd.
This whole post-Draft exercise of sleuthing out the “truth” behind the picks that didn’t happen reminds me of an earlier, more immature version of myself that might be prone to a ping of jealousy if Mrs. Warwas made multiple comments about Channing Tatum’s abs (all 44 of them) after watching Magic Mike.
I’m not saying these aren’t good writers or that their insights aren’t accurate. I’m saying that the Vikings managed to arguably draft the best player available, who also happened to be at a position of perceived need, and all of the “what ifs” about players selected prior to 23 essentially equates to fiction… or theoretical quantum physics at the very least.
It would essentially be the same as me worrying about what would have happened if my wife met Channing Tatum in college instead of me. That didn’t happen, though, and so it is just about as irrelevant as White House Down to sit here and worry about it.
In Treadwell, the Vikings got a prospect with the potential to come in and immediately contribute as a dependable target with a large catch radius, a phenomenal run blocker, and a red zone threat to hopefully keep defenses honest in an area where the 2015 Vikings struggled greatly. He’s also known to be a hard worker with great character and intangibles.
The Vikings may very well have preferred another receiver for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they coveted a blazer like Will Fuller in an effort to develop deep field success where Mike Wallace failed.
The fan base, and maybe even the Vikings front office, might be feeling that ping of jealousy for what the two teams in front of them were able to gain in the first round. They can take comfort in knowing that others, however, are also experiencing similar feelings and wish they could’ve landed the player that the Vikings just selected.
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) April 29, 2016
That’s my way of saying that Mrs. Warwas is stuck with me and the Vikings are now married to Treadwell, for better or worse. I think I’m a lucky guy and, to be perfectly honest, I think the Vikings were also a very lucky franchise yesterday.