The Vikings have used a majority of their draft picks over the past three seasons to bolster the back end of their defense and offensive line. But the 2016 draft represented the second time in the past four years that Minnesota brass have taken a big swing at something the team has been sorely missing: a legitimate playmaking wide receiver on the outside.
With Cordarrelle Patterson seemingly on the outs -- the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option -- all eyes are on Ole Miss product Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell was believed by some to be the top receiver available in the NFL draft but ended up sliding to No. 23 overall, which put him behind Corey Coleman (Browns), Will Fuller (Texans) and Josh Doctson (Redskins).
Very early reviews from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater are in. And after two practices, the reviews are positive.
"He's going to be big for this team," Bridgewater told Vikings.com. "There's a reason that we drafted him in the first round.
He added: "He's been here with us for two days now, and he's been looking good. I'm not qualified to judge players and things like that, but from what I've been seeing, I've been pretty impressed."
While most anything said during this time of year following padless practices is meaningless, this is worth keeping an eye on. The development of Patterson won't fall on Bridgewater's shoulders but Treadwell's might. Bridgewater has matured to the point where he should be able to command Minnesota's offense and elevate the play of complementary pieces around him.
Bridgewater won't be able to tell how easy that will be after two days, but Minnesota is hoping they don't swing and miss on this one.