Vikings Draft Bust Might Join Contender

Dec 24, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks onto he field before the start of the third quarter against the Washington Commanders at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings had some draft busts in the last 10 years. While it is too early to make a final evaluation of the 2022 draft class, the early results aren’t positive. Of the four third-round selections in 2021, Rick Spielman’s final draft as Vikings GM, only Patrick Jones remains with the organization. Kellen Mond, Chazz Surratt, and Wyatt Davis all departed from the team in the 2022 offseason.

The two cornerback prospects, Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes, didn’t pan out for different reasons. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater could’ve changed the future of the Vikings when Spielman made the call in 2014, but he became a career journeyman because of injuries and a lack of high-end talent. Sharrif Floyd, a defensive tackle, was a force as a young player, but a knee injury and the subsequent botched surgery cost him his career.

Vikings Draft Bust Might Join Contender

Vikings Draft Bust Might Join Contender
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi) after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the number twenty-three overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

No player of the last decade, however, deserves the label bust like wideout Laquon Treadwell. The Vikings were desperate to find a top receiver for young QB Teddy Bridgewater, so they just picked the top receiver on their board in a horrible WR class.

Coming out of Ole Miss, Treadwell ended up as the 23rd-overall pick, the fourth receiver taken. Like Treadwell, the others didn’t succeed much in their careers. Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson are afterthoughts, while Will Fuller had some decent seasons but hasn’t played a game since 2021.

Treadwell visits the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, according to Tom Pelissero. The 49ers are obviously set with starters Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, but no team ever had too many wideouts. Treadwell is a bottom-of-the-roster receiver at this point in his career.

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Nov 10, 2022; Munich, Germany; Seattle Seahawks receiver Laquon Treadwell (82) during practice at FC Bayern Munich at Sabener Strabe. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, Treadwell was on four different teams. He was a part of the Patriots and Cardinals practice squads for a few weeks after the Jaguars released him before the season began. He eventually ended up with the Seattle Seahawks, where he had six receptions for 42 yards.

Treadwell’s top campaign came the year before, in 2021. He was a member of the Jaguars under head coach Urban Meyer and caught 33 passes for a career-high 434 yards and 1 touchdown.

Aug 29, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Throughout his career, the receiver played in 76 games and caught 110 passes for 1,226 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the four years with the Vikings, Treadwell played 53 games, including 16 starts. That resulted in 65 catches for 701 yards and 2 scores.

Adam Thielen had his breakout season during Treadwell’s rookie campaign, and Stefon Diggs continued his rise to stardom. The circumstances weren’t good for the young receiver during his time in Minnesota.

He’ll turn 28 in June and tries to get another shot to kickstart his carer. Treadwell wouldn’t be the first player that can turn around his career while working with offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan.

In the meantime, the Vikings are also trying to find some receiver help to pair with Justin Jefferson. The team only employs two proven NFL receivers, Jefferson and K.J. Osborn, in addition to Jalen Reagor, Jalen Nailor, Trishton Jackson, Blake Proehl, and the latest signing, Brandon Powell.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt