Replacing Stefon Diggs
News broke a couple nights ago that the Vikings traded WR Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a bundle of draft picks. Vikings picked up another 1st round pick in the 2020 draft this April and will select at 22 and 25. From what I've seen from fans on twitter and people I personally know, this has people split. The Vikes lose a very talented young player, but receive the Bills 2020 1st, 5th, and 6th round pick as well as their 2021 4th.
If you look at what the Vikings got for Diggs and what the Texans got for a superstar in DeAndre Hopkins, I'd say they got a hell of a deal for a guy who wanted out anyway. Take emotions out of it, this was the right move to make. The Vikings have shown that they want to be a run first team, taking deep shots on play action bootlegs. The Vikings saved some money by trading a guy who publicly complains on Twitter and skips practices in crucial times in the season. This and Kirks contract extension clears 15.5 mil in cap space. This money can be used to bring back players on defense or can be used to bring in some O-Line help. As far as replacing Diggs, here are 3 WRs from the 2020 draft class that I think will be available for the Vikes at 22 or 25.
1. Tee Higgins, Clemson.
Higgins has been a stud a Clemson. He is a good route runner that has the speed off the line to beat press coverage. At the Clemson pro day a week ago Higgins ran a 4.43 unofficial 40. At 6'4" and 215 pounds he has the speed and size to be a match up nightmare with Adam Theilen or Bisi Johnson lining up on the inside of him. One thing that's benefited him is playing in a pass first offense with gunslinger QBs, with the Vikes he would have to adjust to playing with a run first offense with less route running and more blocking. Last season at Clemson Higgins had 59 receptions for 1,167 yards and 13 TDs.
2. Justin Jefferson, LSU
This is tricky, a strong combine from Jefferson has made his draft stock rise a bit so its unknown if he will be around for the Vikings but one can wish. Jefferson is hot off a tremendous 2019 season where he hauled in 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. Granted his QB had one of the most successful seasons in CFB history, those are still insane numbers from a college receiver. Jefferson can line up inside or outside and shine in either spot. He is a precise route runner with sneaky speed that can surprise corners and others on the defense.
3. Michael Pittman Jr, USC
Pittman Jr. is a match made in heaven for this Vikings team. At 6'4" and 220 pounds he has the build that can match an aggressive press cover corner, this could make him a great weapon on the outside in a run heavy offense that will be seeing a lot of man coverage. While Pittman Jr has shown he can outmuscle many defenders, he doesn't have great speed. With a line that doesn't give Kirk a lot of time to throw, having a WR that can go up and get a pass that isn't perfectly thrown would help this team greatly. His last season at USC he tallied 101 catches with 1,275 yards and 11 TDs.
I know there are names like CeeDee Lamb(OKLA) or Jerry Jeudy(BAMA) who many would love the Vikings to trade up and get but I am going off the assumption that the Vikes will stay at 22 and 25. These 3 players are guys I think the Vikes can plug and play. Not only are there those players I've mentioned but there are many hidden gems like Tyler Johnson(MINN) or Jauan Jennings(TENN) who the Vikings could take in rounds 3-4 and get production from. This 2020 WR draft class is extremely deep and there are options to replace Diggs for a favorable dollar amount while this "Win Now" window is open. #Skol