Count Matt Miller among the draftniks who think there is a good chance that the Vikings snag a receiver in the first round of next month’s draft.
Miller, the lead NFL draft analyst for Bleacher Report, was kind enough to appear on this week’s Access Vikings podcast to talk about the upcoming draft and help us pinpoint which prospects could be of interest to the Vikings. We chatted for a while about the receiver class, which should present the Vikings some intriguing options with the 23rd overall pick.
“This is a team that is probably going to draft a wide receiver early,” Miller said today on the podcast. “I think Pick No. 23, I think a lot of people would expect them to draft a wide receiver, whether it is Michael Thomas or Josh Doctson — but a bigger, physical receiver that can win at the catch point. That’s a need for this team. You can get that in Round 1 this year.”
And as I wrote on the blog yesterday, that 20-to-32 range late in the first round has produced a number of productive receivers in recent years.
Specifically, Miller said offensive coordinator Norv Turner and the Vikings are probably looking for a physical split-end receiver with some size who can make contested catches for third-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
“I think that’s what you’re looking for, that Michael Irvin-type,” he said. “You’re looking for a physical receiver that has some explosive qualities.”
Miller mentioned Thomas and Doctson as purple possibilities. He also said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Laquon Treadwell was still on the board at pick No. 23 because teams could be scared away but the gruesome leg injury he suffered during the 2014 season or his subpar athletic testing results.
“I think there’s a good shot he could be there,” Miller said. “I think even before [Mississippi’s] pro day [on Monday], that was pretty possible. I think there are definitely enough concerns that he could be there at 23.”
Miller said Treadwell will wind up either second or third among receivers on his draft board. So who’s his No. 1? Listen to the podcast to find out.