The Vikings Must Enjoy the WR Corps As-Is

The Vikings Must Like the WR Corps As-Is
Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn

The Minnesota Vikings had vivid opportunities to draft WRs Jameson Williams, Christian Watson, Treylon Burks, George Pickens, and others last week — and said no thanks.

Hell, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah even traded picks and draft placement, directly enabling the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers methods to land Williams and Watson.

How’s that for bold?

Instead, for the Vikings draft, Adofo-Mensah acted with a defensive mind — not a terrible idea for the team allowing the third-most yards to opponents in 2021, only outdone (in a bad way) by the lowly Houston Texans and New York Jets. Indeed, the Vikings welcomed Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), and Brian Asamoah (LB) to the organization in the first three rounds, signaling an acknowledgment of existing deficiency.

What they didn’t do? Add a tantalizing wide receiver from a draft renowned for tantalizing wide receivers. The Vikings will embark on the summer with these wideouts:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: Adam Thielen
WR3: K.J. Osborn
WR4: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
WR5: Olabisi Johnson
WR6: Dan Chisena
WR7: Jalen Nailor
WR8: Blake Proehl
WR9: Myron Mitchell
WR10: Trishton Jackson
WR11: Thomas Hennigan

And they’re okay with that, evidently.

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota could’ve channeled its “inner 1998” and bolstered the WR corps even though it wasn’t mandatory. It worked out marvelously 24 years ago, pairing Randy Moss with an already productive twosome in Cris Carter and Jake Reed. But let’s face it, Randy Moss probably wasn’t marinating in this draft class.

Too, the new coaching staff is offensive-minded. Kevin O’Connell came from the Los Angeles Rams where he co-ran the Super Bowl champions’ offense. It would not have been strange at all if he waltzed into town and added more offensive firepower.

Alas, he did not. And it signifies the Vikings contentment with the Jefferson-Thielen-Osborn trio. Perhaps Ihmir Smith-Marsette will join in on the fun.

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, if Adofo-Mensah gets an itchy trigger finger sometime in the next few weeks or months, free-agent WRs are on the wire, too. Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, Will Fuller, and others are available.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).