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.