Josh Doctson among three potential WR draft fits for Vikings

Which top prospect would fill Minnesota's positional need in the 2016 draft?

| 7 months ago
(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Josh Doctson among three potential WR draft fits for Vikings

Since 1970 the Minnesota Vikings have drafted a wide receiver with their first round selection a total of four times. Of the four, only one — Randy Moss — panned out to be as successful as they would have liked.

It’s abundantly clear that since the day Randy Moss was traded to the Raiders, there has been a lack of star-studded receivers in Minnesota. In the 2016 NFL draft, the Vikings have the 23rd pick and it’s believed by many that they should select a wide receiver.

Whether or not they do remains to be seen, but regardless of round, Minnesota must address the positional need. Here are three options that would make the most sense out of this year’s draft class:

1. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Josh Doctson is in the conversation for the No. 1 wide receiver in this year’s draft, and is an obvious consideration for the Vikings. At the NFL scouting combine he lit up the scene, running a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash and making some impressive catches throughout the drills. He has a ridiculous catch radius — one that a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater could really benefit from — and he also averaged more yards per route run than any wide receiver in this draft class. He also constantly finds ways to make circus catches look routine. While his frame is on the smaller side nad he might not be as complete as Amari Cooper was last year, he should be at the very top of the Vikings’ draft board.

2. Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

Michael Thomas doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a true No. 1 receiver but he has a lot of attributes that can translate to success in the NFL. While he may not be the fastest wide receiver in the draft, he displays great in-game speed. Often times he catches the ball and has the ability to separate himself in action. He is a big, physical wide receiver listed at 6-1 with good hands. In his last two years, he’s registered 18 touchdowns and only five drops of the 115 catchable passes thrown his way. Furthermore he’s excellent after the catch — he averaged 6.6 yards after the catch per reception, and forced a missed tackle on 23.2 percent of his receptions during the 2015 season. He does seem to struggle a bit with contested catches, but makes it up by being an above-average blocker. Taking Thomas at No. 23 might be a bit of a reach, but if the Vikings trade back in the first round and select him with a latter pick, it might be worth the risk.

3. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh

While Boyd is more of a second-round target, if the Vikings miss out on the likes of Josh Doctson and Michael Thomas, they might select a player like Boyd later on. Boyd has often drawn comparisons to Keenan Allen of the Chargers, and if that’s the case then the Vikings may happily pass up the other wide receivers. Boyd seems to have the complete package. He runs crisp routes and has sure hands. He also has been used as a main weapon on a team with over 120 targets in consecutive years. The negatives on Boyd are related to his body build, as he is on the thinner side and potentially no powerful enough. Allen drew similar concerns, but once he had a chance to play, he showed that his elite football mind triumphed his size. The name might not be as familiar to many, but Boyd could be a steal for Minnesota.


  • Brendin

    The Vikings need a route runner not a “big guy/possession WR”. Teddy has no zip to his whip, and loses velocity and accuracy past 15 yards. Ex. Success rates of Jennings, Wallace, Patterson, Johnson. Those guys All have/had the talent ESPECIALLY with defenses focusing on A.P.
    They should be looking at
    Boyd… in that order

    • Craig W

      I think they’re praying Doctson falls to 23. Otherwise I see the Spielman trading back to get on of those you listed.

    • enai D

      Diggs is an excellent route runner, and Teddy’s a better deep passer than he gets credit for… though he’s certainly not great. But despite TERRIBLE blocking this year he still had plenty of deep shots to Wallace that were either drops or near-misses. And you can’t mention Patterson in this context, his lack of success is solely on himself.

      • Brendin

        I’m a life long Hawks Fan that lives in MN, I’ve seen every vikings game since I can’t remember any further back. Teddy is NOT a good deep passer, yes protection was an issue, but it was MUCH worse for Russell, but yet Russell threw 34 tds last yr, Teddy threw 14, with a much tougher strength of schedule for SEA. All of Seattle’s recievers are PURE route runners, which helps IMMENSELY. Instead of 50/50 balls you NEED guys that can find zones and move chains. Diggs will Become a very nice route guy, but EVERY OTHER WR on Minny’s roster are deep threat guys, “near-misses” and “drops” are more than not irrelevent. Teddy couldn’t get the ball to them, you NEED to put the ball into a position where your WRs can make a true play on the ball. I’m not comparing teams, I’m stating Teddy needs help. His physical abilities and disabilities, are what they are, but if your Entire WR room doesn’t match your QBs skillset, you’ll Never Truly separate yourself from GB, because DET & CHI are non competitors.

        • enai D

          We’ve already truly separated ourselves from GB. And if you actually did watch much or any of the Vikings last year, then you know I’m correct: while not a good deep passer, Teddy’s alot better than the conventional wisdom would have it. This bit about Teddy being unable to complete deep passes is non-factual rube nonsense.

          • The Realist Troller

            Naive Viking Fans, I’m on here not trying to troll but if you want it, you got it. The ONLY reason you “won the division” was no Jordy Nelson PERIOD, PERIOD, AND PERIOD. Losing Jordy in GB’S offense, is equivalent to losing A.P in MN’s offense. You haven’t done anything to date as a franchise but year after year crown yourselves offseason champions. “Teddy’s alot better than convention wisdom”, what does that mean??? The fact that a QB can have the luxury of A.P behind him as a “box loader” and only throw 14 tds is Conventionally Embarrassing. Don’t give me the he’s only going into yr 3 crap. Russell Wilson set the NFL RECORD for most TDs through his first 3 years witn an embarrassing group of O’Lineman, 2 UDFA WRs, in a TRUE RUN FIRST OFFENSE. Teddy can NOT throw deep and is inconsistent in the intermediates. Mike Wallace, “BUST”(but he has no talent, that’s why you paid him 10 APY), Charles Johnson BUST, (yet Norv called noted him “Far and away, our best reciever”), Greg Jennings, (didn’t do his career any favors, it’s not like he had any help), Jarius Wright (2015 no-show, was he even on the roster??), THE ALL MIGHTY RUDY THE REDZONE TIGHT END (Over-Paid with no production…. his nickname was inherited under the Ponder regime, but yet… where’s he been?). Corderelle… “its his fault he can’t learn the offense”… OOOOR All of this is because you have a QB who came out of a week scheduled conference, with a cute glove nickname thar appeals to fans, and that he is a check down pro…. but wait it’s all because of a poor OL………. BTW, I’m JUST as critical on Seattle in their wins and losses, because a true fan is only satisfied after the teams ONE GOAL is fulfilled. Spank You, Come Again.

          • enai D

            “the only reason you won the division was no Jordy Nelson”

            Lol ok sure- that and all the other, more significant reasons (like having a better roster)… but whatever you need to tell yourself to get to sleep at night, I guess.

          • The Troll You Asked For

            That right there ladies and gents is a typical Queens Fan^^^. THE BEST AT EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE. Nooo… not having one of the most sure handed recievers in the league for the ENTIRE year means nothing, when the division was only won by one game. A healthy Jordy Nelson wouldn’t of made a difference to the W/L record..nope…. because that’s logical right? Like I said, I was only suggesting the types of WRs Minny should target, but what you did you say? NOPE, Conventional Wisdom tells the world that your 14 TD, star QB is SO MUCH BETTER than what my unbiased perception was. The Queens coaching staff? Best in the biz, roster talent? Might as well sign em up for the Olympics. For as much as you say you’re head and shoulders better than GB, seems to me like ya’ll should just fast forward to the Super Bowl and add another ring to the collection.

          • enai D

            You’re having trouble reading plain English I see. Maybe your hurt-butt is making it hard for you to concentrate?

          • Allen Carter

            Get the name right, anybody can be disrespectful. The Vikings have a better roster and actually it’s not just Viking fans that say it. The Packers missed JN a lot but they also won some games that they were very fortunate to win. The Bears will eventually beat them, who knows when and the Packers defense just lost Raji. A rookie won’t be as good as he was and you will be adding at least a rookie ilb. The Packers may not win 10 games this year. We will win the North again. Go Vikings!

          • Chad Thostenson

            yeah, we didn’t have our 2 best o-lineman all year either. keep pushing that jordy nelson excuse. one player doesn’t win divisions chief.

          • VoiceOfReason

            Lol…. Wow, the inbreeding is strong in this little troll.

            I, the Legendary VoiceOfReason thank you for the hearty laugh this morning.

            I, the Legendary VoiceOfReason would like to know if you are taking your comedy act on the road ?

          • Chad Thostenson

            are you talking about the peterson that can’t pass block, and can’t run out of shotgun? maybe the reason he only has 14 td’s is because they run in the red zone. teddy can throw deep you fucking loser, he needs to tighten up his accuracy, russell wilson was still in college at teddy’s age last season, not quite a fair comparison. how about you look at what he does and when he’s doing it with no receivers, a bottom 3 O-line and a coaching style that has them running more than passing because they are winning in the second half. don’t forget about all the offensive penalty’s that set up 1st and long all the time. the only reason tiny fast receivers work for russell wilson is because he’s buying them all kinds of time to get open. its not the seattle line, russell holds on to the ball too long, and then he has to run out of the pocket. teddy bridgewater will still be younger next season than russell wilson when he came into the league. quarterbacks normally don’t start doing much until they are 24-25 years old, teddy is 23.134 years old, it has nothing to do with how long they’ve been in the league. don’t highlight TRUE RUN FIRST OFFENSE as if the vikings aren’t more of true run first offense than seattle. you’re right though, you’re not trolling, you’re scare crowing, its time to get a brain and look beneath the surface of the stats, like you did with wilson his first 2 years. I LOVE HOW ALL YOU BANDWAGON SEATTLE FANS ACT LIKE YOU SCOUTED AND DRAFTED ALL THOSE PLAYERS. all those passing TD’s between rodgers and wilson, and neither of them won their division last year. hmmm. i guess passing td’s don’t mean as much as you think they do. i’ve been a vikings fan my whole life, i never thought christian ponder was good, nor do i know a vikings fan that ever did, so, stop acting like we always overhype average players. you put too much into what you hear from the stupid vikings fans(bc they’re your peers). also its quite contradictory to say we only won the division bc of jordy nelson being out(excuse), than say we need to draft small fast receivers. nelson is 6’3.

          • Chad Thostenson

            wilson is just a scrambling quarterback, when his legs go, so goes his career, 4 seasons, 5- 300 yard passing games, (real impressive). teddy bridgewater, 2 season, 5 -300 yard passing games. since you’re into comparing guys on one stat column.

  • Jordan

    couple of typos in the article just FYI

  • YellowDog

    I thought the conventional “wisdom” was that taking WR’s in the first round is too risky if you cannot get a Randy Moss or a Calvin Johnson. The Vikings are 1 for 3 in first round WR picks over the past 18 years, one of them being Randy Moss. If they cannot sign Andre Smith, I can see them going OL with that first pick. I can also see them going OL even if they sign Smith.

  • Badbastid

    Let me make something clear: Teddy will put on muscle every season he plays in the NFL. Teddy will continue to work on the long bomb. Teddy does not need the long bomb to win games. Teddy needs a knockout defense and good running to eat up the clock without turning the ball over. His win in Chicago was indicative of how his play is evolving when confident. Maybe because of the pressure to not turn the ball over he threw less deep passes which are generally always considered riskier especially when you have the mind of a conservative young passer in the NFL. My guess is this is his breakout season where he starts to get it. Honestly Doctson and Bridgewater won’t have chemistry. I hope Charles Johnson gets his shot again because those two have chemistry. Thielen has chemistry. Forget the stat sheet you put jordy on another team his numbers will hurt for it even with a new QB (he’s a hot topic of conversation rn) it is his chemistry with Rodgers that is important. Mike Wallace does not mesh with Bridgewater clearly. Find someone who does and you’re good. That should be doable in the second round. First rounder Vonn Bell (fuck ya’ll, vikes fans don’t do their homework, this kids a stud).