Analysis

Vikings Finally Found Their Wide Receiver Three

Like it or not, it's Chad Beebe

Let’s Reid between the lines…

For several years, Vikings fans have called on GM Rick Spielman to secure a true #3 wide receiver. You can never count out a blockbuster move by Spielman, but all indications say Chad Beebe has already taken that role.

Before looking at Beebe, it’s important to understand how many capable pass catchers the Vikings have in starting and second-string roles. Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Irv Smith Jr., Tyler Conklin, Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Even C.J. Ham are sure-handed and skilled when the ball comes their way. With that in mind, the team doesn’t need an ELITE wide receiver three.

Beebe isn’t flashy, but he is a great third wide receiver for the Vikings. At WR3, you really just need someone competent enough to catch a couple passes every game and demand attention from the defense. Beebe fits this to a T. 

In college at Northern Illinois, Beebe didn’t blow scouts away with gaudy numbers. He saw his best year as a senior – 417 yards and one touchdown, and his four year collegiate total was less than 1000 receiving yards. In three years with the Vikings, he’s only crept up to 310 yards. But many of those yards have come on crucial third downs, and his workload has grown each year.

The 5’10”, 183 lb receiver does what coaches request and makes the most of every opportunity he gets. He’s just shifty enough to be troublesome for defenders, and he runs good routes – a big factor in his success on third downs. Best of all for Beebe is the trust and rapport he’s built with Kirk Cousins.

With Beebe’s skillset, work ethic, and reliability already on the roster, there’s no reason for Spielman to seek out an expensive upgrade at wide receiver three.

For more Vikings news and analysis, you can follow Reid Johnson and his personal blog, Purple Reign News, on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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Paul
Paul
7 days ago

I think you have to mention he always seems to be injured.

cka2nd
cka2nd
Reply to  Paul
7 days ago

He played in 14 games last year, and doesn’t appear on the team’s 2020 weekly injury report chart found on Pro Football Reference, and he was a healthy “inactive” for the first two games of the season who was activated after the team got it’s first look at Tajae Sharpe and K.J. Osborn.

Duane
Duane
Reply to  cka2nd
6 days ago

Osborn didn’t get any WR snaps and Sharpe got like 1 or 2 targets.

Duane McGraw
Duane McGraw
Reply to  cka2nd
6 days ago

Oh and out of 50 games the last 3 years he only managed to play in 20. Mostly because of injury, partly bc of inactivated. Aldric Robinson was a better WR3 option but favoritism wins out.

J V
J V
7 days ago

This is such a non topic. The Vikings are not a 3 WR team. They ran 3 WR sets 29% all of last season. By far the least amount of any team in the league. Putting 3 wr on the field hurts the running/Play action system that they run. 3 wr sets takes CJ ham/TE2 off the field. It is not an area of need for the team.

Marshall J Buersken
Marshall J Buersken
Reply to  J V
7 days ago

And maybe thats why they dont win Championships

cka2nd
cka2nd
Reply to  Marshall J Buersken
7 days ago

Their best records over the last seven seasons, and their three playoff appearances, were all in years that they ran a balanced offense, even though they had either a mediocre WR3 (Treadwell, Floyd and Wright in 2017, Beebe, Johnson and Treads in 2019) or a mediocre WR1 or WR2 (Wallace in 2015).

I wouldn’t mind having a better WR3 than Beebe, but it’s more important how well Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin play this season, given the small number of targets any WR3 could expect to get.

I also think Olabisi Johnson could be as good an injury fill-in as Jarius Wright was back in 2013-2014.

Carl
7 days ago

Beebe is not a Wr3. We have our Wr3 in Marsette-Smith

Fast Eddie
7 days ago

Job of WR3 is to be ready to become WR2. Beebe doesn’t have much of a track record in this regard.

cka2nd
cka2nd
Reply to  Fast Eddie
7 days ago

But Johnson’s got a pretty good record doing just that, with six pretty good to good starts out of nine over the last two years.

Casey James
Casey James
7 days ago

Chad Beebe won’t compete with Thielen or Jefferson and if something was to happen to them I wouldn’t trust Beebe one bit…This is a lack of effort by the Vikings to find a WR3, Hopefully our 2 starters are enough to contend for the Superbowl cause if not this might turn out to be another disappointing ending.

cka2nd
cka2nd
Reply to  Casey James
7 days ago

There is a lack of effort because most of the available free agents would either cost too much, balk at how few targets they could expect to get in an offense that runs as many two-TE and two-RB sets as this one does, or both, and because those two-TE and two-RB diminishes the importance of the WR3 position. Having good back-ups at WR3 and WR4 is important, and it would be nice to get meaningful special teams snaps from your WR5. I’m not much of a fan of Beebe, but I like Johnson and Smith-Marsette looks promising.

Duane McGraw
Duane McGraw
Reply to  cka2nd
6 days ago

There are capable and better WR3 options in FA who would come who need a team. Rick just don’t want to sign them cuz the spot has been saved for Beebe the last 3 yrs. Now when they get to Minnesota they’d probably gripe about the favoritism so that’s why, since Jarius Wright left who was upset about lack of playing time, we have had inexperience. ..guys who won’t complain about it. Zylstra, Johnson, Chisena, etc.

John
John
7 days ago

Forget #3!! You have someone on the roster now!! Go get another d end!! Now!

James H
James H
7 days ago

There’s a difference between demanding attention and being overlooked because you haven’t proven anything, Beebe wouldn’t make a 53 man anywhere other than the State of Minnesota where we value mediocrity

Last edited 7 days ago by James H
Duane McGraw
Duane McGraw
Reply to  James H
6 days ago

Well said James. People deny that but it’s true. They’re more happy just beating GB.

Michael
Michael
7 days ago

Is this article satire as every article I have read on every Vikings site is how we have no WR3, and Beebe is WR4 at best. Now all of a sudden this writer states he is a GREAT WR3? Not sure what he has done in the last couple days to go from a WR4 to a superstar WR3, but evidently according to this writer he has.

L.Johnson
L.Johnson
6 days ago

WR3? How about a rookie play caller at OC and a defense ranked near the bottom WR3 is the 5th option and not an issue until an injury to 1 or 2.

Tallchief
Reply to  L.Johnson
6 days ago

It’s a last year, when Adam got hurt, it was an issue. But they started Johnson and not Beebe. As I’ve said many times and as someone said earlier in this thread, WR3 is supposed to step in and start an emergency. When you have to move him aside to start WR4 over him, That says a lot.

Duke2you
6 days ago

James H said it best below…no team is going to regard Bebe as a threat…if you put in a reputable receiver teams have to adjust to that name which weakens opposing defenses…Jake Reed, Randy Moss, Chris Carter were unstoppable….add a legit 2-3 name and we score 30+ a game and with a better D…well you all remember 1998 don’t you????

Duane McGraw
Duane McGraw
6 days ago

“At WR3, you really just need someone competent enough to catch a couple passes every game and demand attention from the defense. Beebe fits this to a T. ”

When did he to start demanding attention from defenses? When he splits out wide it’s so obvious that it’s a run play. let’s just be Honest and call it what it is. Don Beebe is friends with Rick Spielman and that’s why Chad’s on this team. Johnson stepped in as a rookie WR3 and did better than Beebe can ever hope and was rewarded with the bench for Beebe last year.
Someone else mentioned it as well, as a wide receiver 3 you need to be ready to step in as a starter if one of the 1st 2 gets hurt. What did they do last year when that happened? They leap frogged Johnson over Chad to start and that’s when he was able to make the catches he had for the season. I wish The Vikings and many of the fans who seem to mainly be the local ones stop settling for mediocrity. Beebe was one of the lowest rated WR in the whole league last year but all of a sudden hes this threat and weapon?

Lastly, don’t expect Smith-Marsette to come in and compete. He will only be a returner. They said that nonsense about Osborne as well and he didn’t take one rep at receiver. In fact, Chisena took a few reps at receiver over him.

Tallchief
6 days ago

Reid. Johnson. You mentioned Beebe’s “skill set and hands.” What skillset are you talking about? Small and slow? But I think you just mean that he tries hard right?

The guy is on the team because his dad is friends with the GM. He hasn’t done anything to earn a spot. People mentioned his game winning TD catch. It was busted coverage vs. a BAD team. The other Td was missed tackles by a 31st ranked defense. He’s not giving you much downfield beyond 10 yds And you can’t trust him returning points. The pathetic and head scratching thing about it is that they just stubbornly keep putting him back out there to return kicks. He’s absolutely NO THREAT to break one. Yet, they have him fielding punts in minicamp.

Beebe’s not the 1st guy who was kept over a better player but WR3? Just STUPID cronyism, a big theme under Spielman’s watch.

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