2016 Minnesota Vikings draft picks: Analysis for every selection

Ben Goessling breaks down the 2016 Minnesota Vikings draft class.

Round 1, Pick 23: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss | Highlights

My take: GM Rick Spielman said in February the Vikings were looking for a Michael Irvin-style split end for their offense, and they got exactly that. Treadwell doesn't turn 21 until this summer, and at 6-foot-2, he adds the size the Vikings desperately needed in their receiver group. His footwork should help him separate from defensive backs, and he's got the size to block for RB Adrian Peterson -- which is no small part of the Vikings' offense. Treadwell’s slower 40 times helped him drop to the Vikings, and when he was still there, they filled a big need. Treadwell suffered a broken fibula and dislocated ankle in 2014, but the Vikings believe he will get faster as he is further removed from the injury.

Run on receivers: Treadwell was the third consecutive receiver drafted, after the Houston Texans traded up to select Notre Dame's Will Fuller and the Washington Redskins selected TCU's Josh Doctson. It's the first time in the NFL's modern era that receivers were taken with three consecutive picks, according to ESPN Stats & Information. We don't know if the Vikings would have taken Doctson had he been available -- they spent extensive time with both Doctson and Treadwell before the draft -- but in our NFL Nation mock draft on Tuesday night, I preferred Treadwell over Doctson because of his size and age. Doctson turns 24 in December, while Treadwell should have time to grow with QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Passing on Jack: The Vikings could have taken a UCLA linebacker for the third consecutive year if they wanted to group Myles Jack with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. But in the end, the team decided to fill what might have been its most obvious need instead of drafting the talented Jack, who admitted he might eventually need microfracture surgery on his knee.

Round 2, Pick No. 54: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson | Highlights

My take: On one hand, the Vikings need cornerback depth, with Terence Newman turning 38 before the season and Captain Munnerlyn a free agent after this season. If Alexander winds up being the heir apparent to Munnerlyn in the slot, this pick could be a good fit. But at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, he doesn't have the size the Vikings prefer for their outside cornerbacks. He's known as a feisty corner, and that might help him compensate for his lack of size. He'll be the next young corner to enter the Mike Zimmer Crash Course of Cornerback Technique this spring.

Coverage over picks: Zimmer has long said he doesn't want his cornerbacks to sacrifice coverage positioning in an attempt to pick off passes, and in Alexander, he gets a cornerback who became a third-team All-American in 2015 despite the fact he ended his college career without an interception. Alexander showed the ability to be a shutdown cornerback in college -- albeit against smaller and less physical receivers -- and the Vikings will hope he can take those traits to the NFL.

Corner over safety: Ohio State's Vonn Bell and Boise State's Darian Thompson were both on the board when the Vikings made their pick, but instead of using the No. 54 pick to add another option at safety, the Vikings made a corner the first defensive back they selected. They'll certainly need corner depth in the future, given the status of Newman and Munnerlyn. Trae Waynes -- last year's first-rounder -- hasn't established himself yet, and the Vikings decided to give themselves another option for the future.

Round 4, Pick No. 121: Willie Beavers, G, W. Michigan | Highlights

My take: The Vikings need tackle depth with Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt and Andre Smith all set to become free agents after this season. In Beavers, they'll get an agile lineman who could be able to play left tackle in the future if he gets stronger. Beavers, who ran a 5.28-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and a 4.75 short shuttle at his pro day, could also wind up as a guard. His feet might be his best attribute, and while he'll need some refinement in the NFL, he's starting from a good place athletically. It behooves the Vikings to add young linemen that can take a year to develop, and that will likely be their plan with Beavers.

Round 5, Pick No. 160: Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri | Highlights

Though they added a pair of linebackers in free agency, the Minnesota Vikings figured to keep looking for depth at the position. They added a run-stopping linebacker on Saturday, taking Missouri's Kentrell Brothers with the 160th overall pick.

My take: Brothers is only 6-foot tall and won't wow anyone with his speed, but he posted 152 tackles last season and looks like he could be an effective run-stopper. His struggles could come if he winds up in passing situations, and because he doesn't project as a three-down linebacker, he wasn't going to have a terribly high ceiling in the draft. But he's seen as an intelligent player and willing tackler, and for a team that has struggled to stop the run consistently, he could eventually find a role in the defense.

Round 6, Pick No. 180: Moritz Boehringer, WR | Highlights

Get ready to hear his story a few dozen times between now and the start of the season: The Vikings made German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer the first player to be drafted without playing at a North American college.

My take: Boehringer, whose interest in football was kindled by YouTube clips of Adrian Peterson, has a remarkable story, but he's not here because of his unusual background. He's a 6-foot-2 receiver who ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and flashed a 39-inch vertical at Florida Atlantic's pro day. He's going to have a major adjustment to go from German professional leagues to the NFL, and it'd be a stretch to expect him to land anywhere but the practice squad in 2016. But if the Vikings can develop the 22-year-old, they wouldn't just have a great story; they could potentially have a dynamic athlete.

Round 6, Pick No. 188: David Morgan, WR

The Minnesota Vikings could need a blocking tight end with Rhett Ellison recovering from a torn patellar tendon. Their sixth-round pick, Texas-San Antonio tight end David Morgan, could fill that need.

My take: At 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds, Morgan has the size to be an effective blocker for Adrian Peterson, and he posted 45 catches for 566 yards last season. If he can help create holes for Peterson, and give Teddy Bridgewater another target in the red zone, he could contribute to the Vikings. He committed seven penalties in 2015, and as he joins one of the league's least-flagged teams, Morgan will have to clean up that part of his game. He'll find the Vikings won't have much patience with him if he is frequently penalized.

Round 7, Pick 227 Stephen Weatherly, OLB, Vanderbilt | Highlights

Since Mike Zimmer became the Minnesota Vikings' head coach in 2014, they've made a habit of acquiring players with the capacity to become dangerous pass-rushers. The latest player in that line arrived on Saturday, when the Vikings took Vanderbilt's Stephen Weatherly with the 227th pick.

My take: We talked last month about the Vikings' ongoing hunt for athletic pass-rushers, and Weatherly certainly should give them another one. He ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, and put up 23 repetitions on the bench press. He stands 6-foot-4 and boasts 34 1/2-inch arms; he's next in the mold of shape-shifting rushers like Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter. He's going to need some work in the NFL, particularly as he shifts to defensive end, but his size and speed fit squarely in the range of the players the Vikings are trying to collect. They'll see if they can mold him into another successful pass-rusher.

Round 7, Pick 244 Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson | Highlights

The safety spot next to Harrison Smith has been an ongoing puzzle for the Minnesota Vikings. They added a player who might be able to join the fray at that position, making Clemson's Jayron Kearse their final pick of the 2016 draft.

My take: At 6-foot-4, Kearse's size is intriguing, and he has 34½-inch arms. His effort and ability to diagnose things before the snap have been questioned, and the Vikings will count on defensive-backs coach Jerry Gray to develop him. If the Vikings can get things to click for Kearse, he could be a force in their secondary. He'll begin his career with his former college teammate Mackensie Alexander, the Clemson cornerback who was the Vikings' second-round pick. Kearse is also the nephew of former Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse, and former Raiders cornerback Phillip Buchanon is his cousin.