In a series providing offseason "exit interviews" for each team by division, CBS Sports recently tackled the NFC North. Sean Wagner-McGough identified Laquon Treadwell as an excellent addition for Minnesota. He wrote:
He's Bridgewater's perfect receiver – a target who comes down with contested catches and doesn't necessarily need separation to be considered open. [Quarterback Teddy] Bridgewater isn't great at throwing the deep ball, but Treadwell should help him in the middle of the field and in the red zone, where he struggled to complete passes last season (41 percent completion rate).
Wagner-McGough said one of the reasons Bridgewater might have had fewer completed deep balls in 2015 could have been the offensive line, which the Vikings paid special attention to this offseason. Wagner-McGough said Minnesota's moves in free agency this year should be beneficial for Bridgewater and the offense.
Andre Smith is an above-average tackle who should, at the very least, provide some stability on the right side of the line. The Vikings also signed Alex Boone, a dependable run blocker, away from the 49ers.
Wagner-McGough also opined positive offseason transactions for the Vikings division rivals. Positives for the other three teams included wide receiver Jordy Nelson's return for the Packers, the Lions signing free agent wide receiver Marvin Jones and lineman Kyle Long moving back to guard for the Bears.
Weatherly brings versatility, length to defensive line
As part of a series honing in on each of the Vikings draft picks, 1500ESPN's Andrew Krammer took a closer look* *at defensive end Stephen Weatherly, selected 227th overall.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer has said on a number of occasions that he likes length in a player, and Krammer said Weatherly fit the bill for a bigger-bodied defender.
Weatherly may not reach the height of the 6-foot-5-inch Danielle Hunter, but he fits the mold in what the Vikings like on defense — length. Weatherly actually has longer arms (34 1/2") than Hunter (34 1/4"), who was taken in 2015's third round. He's also listed 15 pounds heavier.
Krammer also pointed out that the rookie has experience in multiple schemes and positions on defense. Although Weatherly is slated as a defensive end on the Vikings roster, he did play both defensive end and linebacker in college while transitioning from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 when Head Coach Derek Mason took the reins at Vanderbilt.
"We're projecting him as a defensive end," Spielman told media members following the draft. "[Defensive line coach] Andre Patterson went all the way back to his freshman year in 2013 and pulled all his plays as a defensive end. … We will need some refinement from a technical standpoint, but he has a lot of upside as a pass rusher in a 4-3 defense."