Vikings WRs Included in National ‘Trios Ranking’

Vikings Lower than Preseason Expectations in PFF WR Rankings  
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17), wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18), and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Bleacher Report ranked WR “trios” this week, and in its estimation, the Cincinnati Bengals employ the league’s top threesome with Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins.

The Minnesota Vikings, with Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and KJ. Osborn, placed fifth in the league’s pecking order, according to Kristopher Knox.

The ranking is notable for the Vikings because Minnesota always used a dynamic duo for several years while struggling to solve the WR3 spot. Indeed, the Vikings cycled through Laquon Treadwell, Chad Bebe, Bisi Johnson, and others before settling on Osborn, who broke out in a big way as a sophomore in 2021. Prior to Osborn, Jarius Wright was the last trustworthy Vikings WR3.

But now Minnesota lays claim to Bleacher Report‘s #5 spot. Knox mentioned Minnesota’s trio, “The rapport these three pass-catchers have already established with quarterback Kirk Cousins gives them the edge over Miami’s high-upside trio. It should also give Minnesota a very potent offense in 2022.”

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson accounted for the NFL’s second-most receiving yards last year (1,616), and his running mate Adam Thielen grabbed the sixth-most touchdown passes (10). Inside a revamped offense with a new head coach, most onlookers of the Vikings believe all passing numbers can climb even higher in 2022.

Moreover, Minnesota ranked 10th in the league for passing yards and eight in passing touchdowns, a good “starting point” for head coach Kevin O’Connell to hit the next level. O’Connell worked with quarterback Kirk Cousins in Washington, so the two figure to find common ground faster than the typical HC-QB tandem.

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Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Curiously, Minnesota also didn’t have problems breaking off large chunks of yardage last year with Mike Zimmer in charge. The Vikings led the NFL in 15+ yard gains on offense, surrendered the fewest turnovers leaguewide — and still managed to miss the playoffs. For these reasons, some Vikings fans feel the team simply needed a “fresh set of eyes” to plop it into the postseason. We shall see.

Per Bleacher Report, these are the NFL’s Top 7 WR trios:

  1. CIN (Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins)
  2. TB (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage)
  3. LAR (Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson)
  4. LV (Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Mack Hollins)
  5. MIN (Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn)
  6. MIA (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedrick Wilson)
  7. LAC (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton)

The Vikings open the 2022 season at home versus the Green Bay Packers on September 11th.

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).