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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Wide receivers far and away the best position battle at Vikings camp

By Matthew Coller

When the Minnesota Vikings’ rookie wide receivers take the field at TCO Performance Center on Wednesday, they will be looking to get a head start on a group of veterans who aren’t locked into their spots.

At the top of the depth chart, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are established stars. Both ranked in Pro Football Focus’s top 10 graded receivers last year. They will be the centerpiece of the offense again in 2018, but beyond the Thielen-Diggs combo, everything is up for grabs.

The Vikings signed veteran slot receiver Kendall Wright this offseason. While he managed 59 receptions with the Bears last year, Wright signed just a one-year deal for $1 million. In minicamp, he ran mostly with the second team. With Thielen and Diggs both adept at lining up in the slot, Wright shouldn’t be considered a dead lock to make the team or earn significant playing time.

Same goes for Laquon Treadwell, who saw his playing time decline toward the end of 2017. The 2016 first-round pick is entering a make-or-break season following a 20-catch sophomore season. Salary cap implications make it unlikely the Vikings would release Treadwell, but his playing time and role will be determined by his camp performance.

Former New York Giant Tavarres King was also added to the roster. He grabbed 18 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns on 37 targets in 2017, which were all easily the highest totals of his career. King will need to stand out in camp in order to earn a job.

The rest of the group is made up of rookies or players with zero NFL catches.

Stacy Coley and Cayleb Jones spent 2017 with the Vikings. Coley had an outstanding 2017 preseason, catching 10 passes for 165 yards. He made the roster and stuck there for the entire year, but rarely saw the field. The 2017 seventh-round pick from Miami was targeted just once in his rookie season. With good route running skill and potential as a deep threat, Coley could challenge the veteran players if he takes a step forward.

Jones is a go-up-and-get-it receiver who dominated the fourth preseason game last year, pulling in nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. He was cut, but signed back on the practice squad. He was suspended four games this offseasonm, which might not entirely doom his chances. The Vikings could have Jones make the roster and then decide after Week 4 whether they want to keep him.

That leaves five undrafted free agents fighting to steal a job.

Brandon Zylstra made 100 catches in the CFL last year and gained 1,687 yards. The 25-year-old from Concordia-Moorhead stood out in minicamp for his ability to make contested catches.

Korey Robertson cleared 1,000 yards in his final season at Southern Miss and pulled in 12 touchdowns. His ability to break tackles and run after the catch is exceptional. The Vikings paid Robertson $50,000 guaranteed according to the Star Tribune.

Jeff Badet ran a 4.27 40-yard dash. That gives him a chance to stand out as a deep threat. He averaged more than 16 yards per catch during his career at Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Jake Wieneke was highly decorated at South Dakota and has impressive height at 6-foot-4. His lack of speed and experience against top competition could make him a long shot.

Chad Beebe did not have outstanding stats at Northern Illinois, but he could make noise on special teams and as a slot receiver.

The post Wide receivers far and away the best position battle at Vikings camp appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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