Wide receivers the Vikings should target this offseason

There are a lot better options than Laquon Treadwell.
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Let's make one thing clear: Just because the Vikings offensive line needs work, that doesn't mean there are other positions that don't need mending.

As we've laid out before, one first-round pick is not going to automatically vault the Vikings O-line into a top-ten unit.

There are questions at linebacker, wide receiver and even defensive line. So, let's have a look at wide receivers.

Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are probably the best duo in the league. However, you can't deny there was a drop off after them.

When Laquon Treadwell is your third best option at wide receiver, that's a problem. Minnesota missed Jarius Wright last year and they can definitely go to free agency to add some depth. 

Free Agents

Two free agents targets would be Pierre Garcon and Cole Beasley.

Garcon, 33, has battled injuries the last two years but when healthy he's a solid player. It also doesn't hurt that he played with Kirk Cousins in Washington for three years.

He earned $9.5 million last year, but because of his injury history and age, that price tag is probably coming down.

Beasley, 30, has averaged 58 receptions since 2015 in Dallas and is one of the best slot receivers in the league.

He's made just $13 million in his career and he might be seeking a bigger pay day, but settling for a smaller one-year deal with the Vikings could make a lot of sense for both sides.

NFL Draft

Currently, there's not a stud wide receiver in this year's class but there's plenty of depth. 

CBS Sports has 12 wide receivers that are projected to drafted in the first three rounds.

D.K. Metcalf from Ole Miss is projected to be first off the board at No. 15. Considering Mock Drafts don't even have the Vikings taking an offensive lineman with their first pick, it's something to consider.

And there's a lot of big bodies in this year's class, such as N'Keal Harry from Arizona State, who's 6 4"and 213 pounds.

Or Iowa State's Riley Ridley, who's 6' 6" and 225 pounds and projected to be a mid-round pick.

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The Pipe Dream

Newsflash, Antonio Brown is unhappy in Pittsburgh and wants out and the Vikings should absolutely be interested.

Before you keep scrolling and calling me out on social media, it's actually totally feasible. 

Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh told Matthew Coller on SKOR North that Brown might only cost a mid-round pick because he could be facing disciplinary action that could result in some missed games.

Brown is accused of shoving the mother of one of his children and a police report was filed. A league spokesman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the NFL is aware of the incident and investigating the matter.

Now, the Vikings would have to restructure some cap space to land Brown. Currently, they have $5.5 million in cap space and Brown has a cap hit of $22 million for 2019.

So that means not re-signing Anthony Barr, cutting Everson Griffen (which clear up $10 million) and restructuring Riley Reiff, Kyle Rudolph and/or Eric Kendricks.

It would take some work, but nothing that Rick Spielman isn't used to doing.

Let's say it's a one-game suspension for Brown, are you telling me you wouldn't take a generational talent who's led the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns since 2013? 

And all it would cost is a mid-round pick for a team that still has a Super Bowl window open? That's 1998 Vikings 3-deep level offense. Maybe better. You can go ahead and rip me now.

In-house options

Probably the most realistic plan is someone on the current roster taking the next step. Chad Beebe is probably the leading candidate to do so.

After being signed as UDFA in May, Beebe was last on the Vikings wide receiver depth chart. 

However, he worked his tail off in training camp, elevated himself from the practice squad and eventually landed on the active roster for three games by the end of the season.

Another option would be Spicer, Minnesota native Brandon Zylstra. 

After an impressive career at Concordia-Moorhead and an All-Star season in the CFL, Zylstra signed with the Vikings last year and made the 53-man roster out of training camp.

He had just one catch last season and mostly played special teams.

But both sound familiar to the fairy tale that is Adam Thielen, eh?

Treadwell may have set career-highs last year but those are hollow statistics. If you watched him play, you could tell the Vikings could do better.

The problem is, his $3.1 million cap hit for next year – the final year of his rookie deal – is fully guaranteed. If the Vikings could even land a seventh-round pick or a bag of footballs for him, that would be a win.

Yes, Cousins needs protection, but more weapons at his disposal isn't a bad thing either. In fact, a legitimate third wide receiver would make things easier for him since by the second half of 2018, everyone was zoned in on Thielen and Diggs.

It's probably unlikely Treadwell will be wearing purple next season and the Vikings need a better option at wide out heading into 2019 and there's plenty of options available. 

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