The Minnesota Vikings’ top three wide receivers are set. Everything else is up for grabs.
Beyond Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kendall Wright, the Vikings have several wide receivers all battling for position. Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell and former Giant Tavarres King are the only other two receivers with NFL catches. King is hardly a lock, leaving six receivers to battle for two spots.
The Vikings’ decision not to draft a receiver especially leaves the door open. Following the draft, GM Rick Spielman talked about the front office’s approach to the position.
“If you’re down there in those later rounds and it may be light at linebacker or defensive end but there’s still a lot of quality depth at the receiver position for example,” Spielman said. “Then lets wait because it’s going to fall pretty quickly if we don’t take any of these guys. The receiver will wait until the college free agency period begins and then lets go and be as aggressive as we can and go out and get the top guys out there. I think we were able to accomplish that.”
With Week 2 of OTAs beginning Tuesday, the competition is already beginning between Stacy Coley, Jeff Badet (UDFA), Chad Beebe (UDFA), Cayleb Jones, Jake Wieneke (UDFA), Brandon Zylstra and Korey Robertson (UDFA).
Last year’s seventh-rounder Coley had an impressive preseason and was on the active roster for the entire 2017 season, but rarely saw the field. Jones spent last year on the practice squad. However, an offseason suspension could hurt his chances.
Of the players fighting for a job, one of the most intriguing is Robertson, a former Southern Miss receiver who caught 76 passes for 1,106 yards and 12 touchdowns.
According to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune, the Vikings gave Robertson $50,000 guaranteed as an undrafted free agent.
At the NFL Combine, Robertson ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and was only above average in the broad jump. But his build at 6-foot-1, 212 pounds could help at the next level. NFL.com wrote:
“Robertson has good size and plays with very good strength, but he doesn’t show off the deep speed or foot quickness for consistent separation on the NFL level. Teams will love his toughness, but may have concerns about the athletic traits.”
Despite his lack of straight-line speed, Robertson ranked in the top 20 in college football in deep passing yards (per Pro Football Focus) and caught 45 percent of deep passes in his direction. He particularly stood out after the catch, receiving one of the highest grades in the draft for missed tackles.
One of the question marks for Robertson will be versatility. He rarely played in the slot in college, but his ability to pick up yards after catch suggests that might be a fit. All of the undrafted free agents will have to find ways to stand out on special teams, which might help Robertson’s case considering his size and strength.