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Despite Draft Chatter, Vikings Aren't 'Honed In' on Receiver

There has been nonstop chatter the past few weeks that projects the Vikings to select a wide receiver Thursday in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Even a recent Mock Madness had all 13 mock drafts selecting a potential target for Teddy Bridgewater.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman poked fun at the constant storyline Tuesday in his annual pre-draft press conference, but said the Vikings have not narrowed in on selecting a wide receiver by any means.

"As I sit there and enjoy reading the mock drafts and everybody out there trying to determine what we're going to do, we are in a position to take the best player," Spielman said. "I'm sure I'll get a receiver question here, I'm not sure, but in case someone does; we're not honed in on a receiver in the first round.

"We'll look at the potential best available player regardless of position," he added. "I think that's the way that we have done it and will continue to do that because it ends up paying off for you. Not only for potentially this year, but as we go into the future years."

With the draft's opening night on Thursday approaching fast, plenty of experts in Chicago weren't swayed by Spielman's comments and still predict Minnesota to nab a wide receiver.

According to the draft analysts, the Vikings could have their eyes on Baylor's Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson of TCU, Notre Dame's Will Fuller or Laquon Treadwell out of Mississippi. 

The Vikings are scheduled to have the 23rd pick of the draft. Houston has the 22nd pick, and Cincinnati has pick No. 24, and many believe that the Texans and Bengals could select a wide receiver. 

Mike Mayock of NFL Network said Wednesday that the Texans could go for speed in Fuller or Coleman. That would leave Doctson and Treadwell, known more as physical receivers, at No. 23 for the Vikings.

"In [Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner's] offense, I think a guy like Josh Doctson would be outstanding," Mayock said. "I also think Treadwell (would fit).

"I think both of those guys give Teddy Bridgewater some comfort," he added. "He can throw it up, and they can go get it."

When other experts pinpointed who they think the Vikings might pick, Doctson and Treadwell were a pair of popular choices.

The 6-foot-2 Doctson was the pick by NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. 

"I was looking for height, that's all," Mariucci said. "When you're talking about trying to improve the passing game with Teddy Bridgewater and be better in the red zone, the taller target is beneficial."

Fellow NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah went with the 221-pound Treadwell, whom Jeremiah compared to Anquan Boldin.

"Laquon's a stud," Jeremiah said. "You look at Minnesota and the need for a playmaker there for Teddy Bridgewater.

"Somebody with some size, especially down in the red zone, he can help you out," he added. "It's a perfect match for them."

Curtis Conway of NFL Network also had Treadwell going to Minnesota in his mock draft.

But the former NFL wide receiver, who played for Turner in San Diego in 2001, said he believes there's not a huge gap in talent between the quartet of wide receivers. If the Vikings were to get one, he said, the selection would pair nicely with Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson.

"I wouldn't say one is that much better than another one," Conway said. "It wouldn't be disappointing if one is gone before they draft.

"If they add another piece to the puzzle, this offense is ready to take off," he added.

It remains to be seen if the Vikings will add a wide receiver to their depth chart by the end of Thursday night.

But Charles Davis of NFL Network didn't put it past Spielman and Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer to have a trick or two up their sleeve.

"The easy thing for all of us has been wide receiver," Davis said. "We've talked about it ad nasuem, so it's almost like it has to be a receiver because everyone has said that … but that's not really true.

"When I look at Mike Zimmer as a defensive coordinator and now head coach, he wouldn't mind going ahead and continue to increase that defense," he added. "Nothing would surprise me with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer."

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