Lunchbreak: NFL Analyst Frelund Evaluates Vikings WRs Led by Diggs, Thielen

Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have proven to be quite the receiver tandem for Minnesota.

Over the past two seasons, the duo has combined for 4,519 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns. Thielen and Diggs each logged 1,000-yard seasons and notched nine scores apiece in 2018.

So in evaluating every team’s wide receiver group, NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund said the Vikings have a dominant WR1/WR2 combo but “could use solid role players” in addition. She wrote:

Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were really efficient together last season. Among duos with the highest volume rankings (as in, they were on the field together), Diggs and Thielen were on the field for the third-most first downs and touchdowns. Diggs and Thielen ranked third (67.5) and fourth (66.7), respectively, in reception percentage against press coverage. Do you see where I am going here? The duo was quite effective. But adding depth here could mean increasing Minnesota's overall efficiency.

Diggs and Thielen are currently joined on the roster by Laquon Treadwell (35 catches for 302 yards in 2018), Jeff Badet, Chad Beebe, Brandon Zylstra and Aldrick Robinson, who scored five touchdowns on just 17 receptions last season.

Frelund included five other teams – the Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, Giants and Seahawks – in the same camp as Minnesota. In total, she created five categories; the other four are listed below, with the Vikings NFC North rivals in bold.

Upgrades needed across the board: Ravens, Bills, Patriots, Jets, Raiders, 49ers, Redskins

Lacking a true WR1: Cardinals, Panthers, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Dolphins, Titans

Seeking a complementary WR2: Cowboys, Texans, Colts, Saints, Eagles, Steelers

In good shape: Falcons, Bears, Packers, Chargers, Rams, Buccaneers

Frelund said that she “factored in team strategy” when slating the Bears where she did.

Next Gen Stats reveal that Chicago's wide receivers covered the second-fewest yards per route (21.6) last season, but the context here is that it was by design. While I am not calling Allen Robinson comparable to Julio Jones as a No. 1, the Bears wide receiver group as a whole (Robinson, Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel) is strategically sound and has developmental upside as the team’s young signal-caller (Mitchell Trubisky) evolves. 

Rudolph headlines Rochester FCA banquet as guest speaker

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph spent Sunday evening in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was featured as a guest speaker at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) banquet, which was covered by FOX 47.

The Southeastern Minnesota chapter of FCA held its seventh annual “Night of Champions” fundraiser event and welcomed Rudolph, who “talked about his faith and drive to give back” to the community.

“I feel the call, given the platform that I have to use it to do good and I’m extremely fortunate being in the situation I’m in, building the platform that I’ve built, to be able to use it to influence people in our community,” Rudolph said. “We are very passionate about using our resources, whether that’s our time, financial situation, anything we can use to make our community a little bit better place.”

Rudolph “drew similarities” between sports and faith for the evening’s guests.

“The bottom line is I get to play a game for a living, and although I dedicate a ton of time and energy into doing everything that I can to help the Minnesota Vikings win football games, that’s not life or death,” Rudolph said, “and when you go out and do work in the community, when you visit sick patients and their families and they are battling life or death, those are things that test your faith. Although I take wins and losses as hard as anyone, it’s just what I do and not who I am.”

Cousins family gains a new addition

The Cousins family has grown.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins posted a photo on Sunday announcing that he, his wife Julie and big brother Cooper welcomed a new addition, Turner Cousins, to the crew.

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