As the Vikings sort through candidates for their No. 3 receiver job, they can pick from a range of different skill sets: Rookie Dillon Mitchell and second-year man Jeff Badet bring more long speed to the group, while 2019 draft pick Bisi Johnson excelled with his quickness in college. Brandon Zylstra and Chad Beebe — when they’re healthy — provide a physical option and a smooth route-runner.
Before any of them makes a strong play for a bigger role in the Vikings offense, however, they’ll have to get a better handle on the basics.
The story summed it up well: It remains to be seen how much the Vikings will lean on a third receiver. They could make greater use of two-tight end sets this fall, with second-round pick Smith joining Rudolph, and spend less time with three receivers on the field. The Vikings will still need options beyond Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, though, and competition among their young players, as well as such veterans as Taylor and Treadwell, figures to continue through camp.
Vikes WR Laquon Treadwell missed more than two weeks as a result of a hamstring injury, but has returned to practice in a limited fashion. That will give him a chance to continue work on sharpening his technique.
The story was about Treadwell wanting to be a true receiver instead of relying on just talent alone. Treadwell added he didn't know how to win at certain points in his routes, and he spent a lot of time learning how to play the game.
Every day, Michael Floyd made three or four plays in training camp that opened your eyes. His physical presence, sure hands and ability to create separation are impressive. Often times, a Vikings defensive back was in perfect position to knock down a pass heading Floyd’s way, but the veteran would leave his feet, extend his arms and pluck the ball from the air before the defender could swat it away. Floyd made catches in traffic, deep down the field, in the red zone and along the sideline day after day.
I won’t rule WR Rodney Adams out of earning this role at some point this season with the Vikings, but I wouldn’t make him the favorite for the third receiver.
Laquon Treadwell has done nothing but impress since the offseason program began and I think he’s got a stronghold on the No. 3 spot.
I also wouldn’t count out Michael Floyd as the receiver who sees the third most snaps and/or targets by the time we get to the home stretch of the regular season. A big opportunity for Adams will be on special teams, where the kickoff return role is an open competition heading into training camp.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen look to have the top two spots while some talented players battle it out for the third spot. Treadwell, of course, was a first round pick in 2016 so one would think the Vikings would love to see more production from him this season.