Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

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Mothman
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Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:52 am

This is Part 3 in the Strib's series grading Vikings players on the 2016 season.

Vikings grades, outlook: Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs carry load for top picks at receiver
The Vikings got a lot from two smaller contracts and not enough from their top picks at wide receiver in 2016. Adam Thielen’s emergence paired with Stefon Diggs, a fifth-round pick two years ago, gives Sam Bradford a potent duo moving forward. Diggs and Thielen, whose combined salary cap hits were under $1.2 million last season (14 percent of cap used at WR), produced 71 percent of yardage at their position.

This offseason they’ll likely lock up Thielen, a restricted free agent, which means the Vikings have right of refusal and can match any offer made by another team or possibly gain a draft pick for losing him. Others, like soon-to-be free agent Cordarrelle Patterson, Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright, could land elsewhere.
The scale:

5 = excellent season
4 = above average
3 = average
2 = below average
1 = failure to perform

The grades:

Adam Thielen (3.5)
Stefon Diggs (3.5)
Cordarrelle Patterson (2.5)
Jarius Wright (2.5)
Charles Johnson (2.0)
Laquon Treadwell (1.5)
Isaac Fruechte (N/A)

I'd bump Patterson's grade up to average but other than that, I think these grades are fair and accurate. I expect to see change in this group next year. Johnson should be replaced Patterson could leave in free agency but I'd like to see him remain with the team. Thielen's situation will be interesting. As an RFA, he could get an attractive offer from another team. how much are the Vikes willing to pay him?

Will Wright be back in 2017? Cutting him would leave a 1.6+ million dead cap hit.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by autobon7 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:36 am

I would grade Wright at a 3 or 3.5 even though he received little to no playing time this year. Just basing it on what he has done previously.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by losperros » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:21 pm

autobon7 wrote:I would grade Wright at a 3 or 3.5 even though he received little to no playing time this year. Just basing it on what he has done previously.
So would I. Even this season Wright looked good the few times they used him. And I think there is more the Vikings could do with Patterson. Sure wish they'd try some of the stuff we saw from Musgrave during CP's rookie season.

The Vikings need to retain both these guys, in my view. They finally have a good WR corps. Don't thin it out.

I'm probably one of the few who think the Vikings would be crazy not to re-sign an all-around weapon like Patterson. His kick returns alone often give the offense outstanding field position. He's the best in the NFL at it. I like him as a punt gunner and I still believe he's a big play waiting to happen whenever he touches the ball. They should run him out of the backfield at times again, especially if the OL improves.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by mansquatch » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:24 pm

CJ and Wright are both likely cap casualties. Wright has never been more than a 3 and his best plays have been in the deep passing game. CJ is also a deep route / speed guy. Neither really fit well into what this team is currently doing in the passing game.

I suspect they'll try to keep CP84, he is a huge asset on ST. Thielen is an interesting case as an RFA. Treadwell is under contract and highly unlikely to be cut at this point.

I see depth chart as likely:
Diggs / Thielen
CP84
Treadwell
???
???

They might not keep more than 5 and I doubt they are going to want to invest cap space in Wright or CJ given the low liklihood that both see snaps on the field. CP84 contributes in a big way on ST and Treadwell still has his draft equity. Easily strongest position group on the offensive side of the ball.
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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:28 pm

autobon7 wrote:I would grade Wright at a 3 or 3.5 even though he received little to no playing time this year. Just basing it on what he has done previously.

I think the grades are meant purely for this season so previous performance probably wasn't much of a factor.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:33 pm

mansquatch wrote:CJ and Wright are both likely cap casualties. Wright has never been more than a 3 and his best plays have been in the deep passing game. CJ is also a deep route / speed guy. Neither really fit well into what this team is currently doing in the passing game.
Actually, I think Wright could fit in quite well. You may be forgetting some of his big plays. He's had some huge plays where most of the yardage was gained after the catch, the most memorable probably being a long TD in OT against the Jets.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by losperros » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:24 pm

Mothman wrote: Actually, I think Wright could fit in quite well. You may be forgetting some of his big plays. He's had some huge plays where most of the yardage was gained after the catch, the most memorable probably being a long TD in OT against the Jets.
I remember that one. Wright reminded everyone he's a 4.39 - 4.4/40 burner. A big play during a critical moment.

I see Wright as an asset for the WCO Shurmur would like to do next season. Diggs, Thielen and CP fit in there nicely, too.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:31 pm

losperros wrote: I remember that one. Wright reminded everyone he's a 4.39 - 4.4/40 burner. A big play during a critical moment.

I see Wright as an asset for the WCO Shurmur would like to do next season. Diggs, Thielen and CP fit in there nicely, too.

It's not Carter, Moss, Reed and co. but it's a solid WR corps with the potential to grow, especially if Treadwell starts making a contribution that justifies his first round draft status.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by mansquatch » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:04 pm

I'm not forgetting his big plays. The problem is what has he done besides those big plays? We didn't see any in 2016 because he was starved for snaps with so much in front of him. Even when he was getting more snaps guys like CJ and Diggs stole the show. Wright has never been more than a #3/#4 WR. If CP84 and Theilen stay then he is likely gone. Doesn't make sense to give a guy a 2nd contract when he is your #4/#5 WR.

If CP84 or Theilen are gone, then the dynamic changes.
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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by fiestavike » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:05 pm

mansquatch wrote:I'm not forgetting his big plays. The problem is what has he done besides those big plays? We didn't see any in 2016 because he was starved for snaps with so much in front of him. Even when he was getting more snaps guys like CJ and Diggs stole the show. Wright has never been more than a #3/#4 WR. If CP84 and Theilen stay then he is likely gone. Doesn't make sense to give a guy a 2nd contract when he is your #4/#5 WR.

If CP84 or Theilen are gone, then the dynamic changes.
Trade him for a 6th rounder.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:14 pm

mansquatch wrote:I'm not forgetting his big plays. The problem is what has he done besides those big plays?
I think you missed my point. You wrote "his best plays have been in the deep passing game". My point was that's not true. Quite a few of his best plays have involved big runs after the catch.
We didn't see any in 2016 because he was starved for snaps with so much in front of him. Even when he was getting more snaps guys like CJ and Diggs stole the show. Wright has never been more than a #3/#4 WR. If CP84 and Theilen stay then he is likely gone. Doesn't make sense to give a guy a 2nd contract when he is your #4/#5 WR.
He's already signed that contract. Wright's not a free agent. He's the Vikings highest-paid receiver. He signed a four-year, $14.8 million contract extension in September of 2015.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by autobon7 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:25 pm

I think trading Wright would be a mistake seeing as how Diggs seems to get nicked up and misses playing time. At least we would have an adequate fill in with Wright.....Johnson on the other hand can go.

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by losperros » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:41 pm

autobon7 wrote:I think trading Wright would be a mistake seeing as how Diggs seems to get nicked up and misses playing time. At least we would have an adequate fill in with Wright....
Good point about Diggs and Wright. :thumbsup:

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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by mansquatch » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:25 pm

Not really on the fill in thing. Diggs got nicked up this year and CP84 / Thielen gobbled the snaps. That's my point on Wright: He isn't seeing the field. So why keep paying him?

This last season he had 11 total receptions on 14 targets. Of those 11, 5(!) were in the last game of the year vs. CHI. Here is some way out there conjecture: Those receptions/targets were not because other people couldn't play.
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Re: Vikings Grades: Wide receiver

Post by Demi » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Not really on the fill in thing. Diggs got nicked up this year and CP84 / Thielen gobbled the snaps.


Exactly. Start them on any team in the league they'll produce. So will plenty of receivers. This team has zero #1 receivers.

Treadwell? Start him week in and week out and we'll see. Otherwise? Guy's have got their snaps. And to me they all looked like depth/#3 guys. :confused:

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