With the final hours ticking down to the first round of the 2016 draft, more questions than answers remain as to whom the Minnesota Vikings are going end up selecting in the first round of tonight’s draft. The conventional wisdom is that if Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is on the board, the Vikings will take him.
But the conventional wisdom doesn’t always work out. Plenty also believe that TCU receiver Josh Doctson is their man.General manager Rick Spielman has a history of trading down and trading up at almost every potential picking spot, so he keeps the heads of fans on a swivel at all times.
“I don’t know how the draft is going to fall,” Spielman said. “… We spent a lot of time at all of these positions, but I do think there is a lot of quality at that (receiver) position as you go down through. There’s different styles, different types: small ones, tall ones. I mentioned earlier, we don’t look so much at the height, per se, as the catching radius. There’s fast guys, there’s possession guys. There’s a lot of different flavors.”
Nothing is certain with Spielman, but these are the scenarios that could touch off action in the war room.
1. What wide receiver do they covet? Some believe Treadwell is the preference, others think Doctson. But there’s nothing to say that there isn’t a belief that speedsters like Corey Coleman or Will Fuller would be the best fit for Teddy Bridgewater and the offense. That could be the first wrench in the anticipated plan.
2. What if a player they covet lands to them? Sharrif Floyd was expected to be a top-five pick and for no other reason than the way team needs met up with the available talent. It happens. What if Myles Jack slides down to the Vikings because of concerns over his injured knee? The same goes for anticipated players to be long gone by the time the Vikings pick, like linebackers Leonard Floyd, Reggie Ragland and Darron Lee, defensive end Shaq Lawson or one of the top offensive linemen. That could scuttle the draft plan in a good way.
3. What if they trade down? Two years ago, most analysts didn’t have Anthony Barr rated where the Vikings did. The Vikings knew they could trade down a couple of spots and still get him. They did. Two years earlier, they did the same with Matt Kalil, dropping a spot and still getting the guy they had targeted. Two years before that, they did the same thing. In all three instances, once they got their guy with their first pick, they traded up to make a second pick, which could make the last hour of the draft very interesting.
4. What if they trade up? Long story short, Spielman doesn’t play that way in the first round … or at least he hasn’t yet with the Vikings.
5. What if a veteran is available they feel worthy of giving up picks to get? There is a precedent with Jared Allen, so anything is possible. It would need to be the right offer – Spielman has set a precedent.
When all is said and done, if Treadwell or Doctson and the Vikings are meant to be, they will be. But there are other factors that could come into play that make the unlikely very possible.
Get your popcorn ready.