Kwesi Drops WR Smoke Screen Days Before Draft

Photo: Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are slotted at pick 12 in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, on Thursday evening. Nobody has any idea who will still be on the board when the Vikings go on the clock. This this is said to be the most unpredictable top-10 in recent draft history.

But wide receiver is one position that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah should have a plethora of talented options for, at 12. The earliest run on this draft’s best receivers isn’t expected to start until pick 10 or later. That means the Vikings could have their pick of Jameson Williams (Alabama), Drake London (USC), Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) and Chris Olave (Ohio State).

WR Coach doesn’t want WR at #12

Well, Kwesi stepped to the podium on Tuesday morning and spoke with Vikings media to discuss the draft. Most of it was pretty uneventful and rather generic. But Kwesi had one story he came prepared to tell. It involved wide receivers coach, Keenan McCardell, and an supposed stump speech he gave the draft room about AVOIDING wide receivers on Thursday night. Here is Chad Graff’s (The Athletic) iteration of “Storytime with Kwesi”:

But McCardell urged an end to that line of thinking. The Vikings have other needs, several of which are more pressing, and McCardell dissuaded the group from envisioning a stacked wide receiver room to instead focus on positions in need of more help.

“He gives the impassioned plea to pick a different position than his,” Adofo-Mensah said. “And there are some great options there at his position. And there were no words that needed to be said. Everybody felt the moment. And when you talk about selflessness and team and all those things, well, in that moment, he showed everybody what it was about.”

Adofo-Mensah told the story to illustrate the idea that the group working in the draft room each day is emphasizing what’s best for the team, not necessarily what might be best for specific positions or their individual careers.

But it also revealed something else: The Vikings probably won’t be picking a wide receiver at No. 12.

Chad Graff – The Athletic

Smoke Screen or nah?

Or maybe, that’s exactly what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wanted Chad Graff and others around Minnesota media to write. I hope that’s the case. It feels way too stupid, even for a first-time GM, to give away inside the draft room knowledge like this. The only plausible explanation for telling this story is that it is completely made up. A classic pre-draft smoke screen.

In recent weeks, wide receiver has become a popular pick among Minnesota Vikings fans and media members. As strong as they might currently look at that position, Adam Thielen will be 32 years old when next season begins and Justin Jefferson is going to be VERY expensive sooner than we realize.

Plus, under Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings will run a lot more 11-personnel than what we’re used to seeing. That means a minimum of three receivers on the field in most offensive sets. And let’s never forget how set at WR the Minnesota Vikings were when they drafted Randy Moss 21st overall in April of 1998. Both Cris Carter and Jake Reed went for over 1000 yards receiving in each of the prior four seasons heading into that draft.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah trying to distance the Vikings from first round wide receivers two days before draft night seems too ridiculous to be real. So, I’m calling bullshit. He isn’t going to fool me with some fictional story about his WR coach wanting less talent to work with. Maybe Chad Graff, but not me.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan