Those of you who have followed the site since last season will know of my affinity for Vikings wide receiver Mortiz Boehringer. Before last years draft I wrote an article essentially stating that I’d rather have Boehringer than Laquon Treadwell at the wide receiver position, based on their measurables from last years combine. While we ended up with both, I still am a strong believer that Boehringer has a super star skill-set and considering the lack of that skill-set on the Vikings offense as we stand right now, I really believe that the Vikings brass need to get Boehringer on the field in any way possible come the start of the 2017 season.
When comparing Boehringer to the measurables of wide receivers not in his draft class, the closest comparison that I could find was Calvin Johnson (based on the average of percentages for each drill or height/weight/etc.), but even then Boehringer had a better overall percentage. Watching Boehringer in person at training camp was like watching an adult play alongside children, he was seemingly larger and faster than everyone on the field. I honestly kept confusing him with Kyle Rudolph while they were standing still, but when the whistle was blown and he started running he really didn’t have a lot of competition when it came to speed. It was honestly pretty amazing to watch and sold me on Boehringer as a player.
I mean, just watch the following and tell me that you don’t see a tight end:
As the writing of this article, the Vikings have needs at both wide receiver and the tight end position, with a couple pass catching tight end’s in free agency being linked to the purple and gold. That got me to thinking. Why not have Boehringer play tight end? He certainly has the size for it, at nearly 6’5″ and 230 lbs as compared to Rudolph’s 6’6″ and 260 lbs. Sure, he’d need to add some weight, but that’s if they wanted him to play as a pure tight end as opposed to a tight end/wide receiver hybrid, where he could do the most damage. Considering the fact that the Vikings are in the market for another pass catching tight end, perhaps in next month’s draft, it could make sense for them to look internally at Boehringer who has all the tools needed to excel in the league and only really needs to learn the complexities of the game and acclimate to the skill level of his competition.
The learning curve for a tight end, from a route perspective, is less dense than the amount of plays a number one wide receiver would need, which would help a player like Boehringer who has to learn the terminology that football uses while also struggling with English as a second language. While he doesn’t have the pure size of Rudolph, his speed, hands and physicality would more than make up for it while giving opposing linebackers one of the bigger mismatches in the NFL. While the Vikings do have a need at wide receiver, also, I believe that Boehringers skill-set would be best utilized at the tight end position, as his speed going against a linebacker would create mismatches on nearly every down. Lining him up next to Rudolph would make them nearly uncoverable and considering the fact that the Green Bay Packers just signed two new pass catching tight ends in Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, this very well could be the Vikings answer when it comes to competing for the NFC North crown.
That move would also open up the passing game for both Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell and the pass catching running backs they have now (In Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon), as well as the rushing game as a whole. With Rudolph coming off of the best year of his career thanks to quarterback Sam Bradford’s propensity to rely on tight ends, especially in the red zone, it’d be hard to imagine that a Vikings offense with both Rudolph and Boehringer wouldn’t be a top unit in the NFL. Consider the fact that the Vikings offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur, was the team’s tight end’s coach last season as well. His familiarity with Sam Bradford and the tight end’s position could really help a player like Boehringer become the focal point of the offense, especially as the offense does lack a lot of pure play-makers elsewhere. The idea of it makes me all frothy and happy, and it almost makes too much sense for it not to happen.
Considering that the Vikings do need help at both the receiver and running back position (At least to match the output of Adrian Peterson), if Boehringer is still struggling to reach the field as a wide receiver I really do believe that this is the way to go. So much so that I recently reached out to him on Twitter, as we’ve DM’d one another there a couple of times in the past (And he’s granted the site an interview). I didn’t get an answer but will forward him this article to see what this thoughts are and will let you guys know if I do hear back. While this may be something that the team wants to keep hidden for as long as possible, the idea of it is very exciting. Like I said above, I’ve long been a big supporter of Boehringer’s and refuse to believe that a guy of his size and pure athletic ability won’t eventually contribute to an NFL roster. The Vikings certainly have the need this upcoming season and after a year spent learning the in’s and out’s of the game it’s looking more and more like 2017 will be the year of Boehringer.
What position he ends up playing at also remains to be seen and while I believe he’d make a great impact at wide receiver as well, the idea of him lining up alongside Rudolph is too good not to at least consider, as it could single-handedly improve the Vikings offense by itself and that’s something that’s definitely worth talking about.
What are your thoughts? Reply below or via our Message Board!