Before Christmas, CBS Sports Olave on the brain for the Minnesota Vikings, who have 12th choose in the 2022 NFL Draft if the event took place today. Analyst Chris Trapasso sent Chris Olave from Ohio State to the Vikings.
Well, Mr. Trapasso changed things on Thursday, but not too much.
Instead of Olave in his last mock draft, Trapasso sent Olave’s teammate Garrett Wilson to Minnesota. Wilson racked up more than 1,000 receiving yards in 11 games in 2021, adding 12 touchdowns. Trapasso wrote briefly about Wilson to the Vikings:
Given the age of Adam Thielen and the fact that his 2021 ended up on injured reserve, the Vikings should seek more help from receiver against Justin Jefferson. Wilson is a high-level prospect. “
The working theory on Olave or Wilson for the Vikings is a gradual preparation for an eventual life without Thielen, in fact. Quietly, Thielen hasn’t counted a receiving season of more than 1,000 yards since 2018, the first year of the Kirk Cousins era, but he has contributed more touchdowns than his pre-2019 production. Thielen has constantly transformed himself into a machine. of touchdown more than in a “boy of yards”. And as Justin Jefferson quickly rises to NFL stardom, another wide receiver will be needed if Thielen’s last three seasons of yardage taper continue. Thielen certainly doesn’t “need to go” in 2022 or anything like that. But he will turn 32 in August, so contingency plans must be formulated if he loses time again in 2022.
KJ Osborn played wonderfully for a WR3 in 2021 and could become a WR2 as he matures. At Garrett Wilson, he’d probably be WR2 ready from day one, immediately teaming up with Jefferson to form a potentially deadly duo for Kirk Cousins or the next quarterback.
Wilson, a slot catcher, weighs 6’0 ″ and 192 pounds. Kyle crabs The network project describes Wilson like this:
“Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson is a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands and offers the kind of running-after-catch ability that’s sure to play a role at the NFL level. Wilson, who is part of the crowded receiver room in Columbus and has enjoyed a career year in 2021, projects the NFL game best as a slot catcher, where his agility in the short area will give him more room to work and create space. and it can be more natural with quick touches for an offense that orders spacing problems with a prominent vertical passing attack. ”
Because the aforementioned Thielen isn’t scheduled to fall off a cliff beginning in 2022, the wide receiver will. no be the Vikings’ most pressing need in the 2022 NFL Draft. That tag belongs to the cornerback, EDGE running back or linebacker. Although, fans rarely complain about a shiny new rookie wide receiver.
Why? Because the Vikings have a remarkable history in writing WR (Randy Moss, Percy Harvin, Justin Jefferson, etc.) and in employing young WRs as well (Cris Carter). However, depending on the depth of the roster, the Vikings need a defender more than a pass receiver. We will see.
For what it’s worth, in Trapasso’s mock draft, Wilson was the first wide receiver off the board. At least the Vikings main office got the best man in his position on the board. Wilson’s teammate Olave was selected with the next pick by the Cleveland Browns.
The NFL draft begins April 28.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. Their Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut butter ice cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).