Vikings WR Room Taking Shape
Over the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings brought in veteran free agent Albert Wilson. With nearly 90 games played and just shy of 40 career starts, he seemed like a potential fit for the 53-man roster. On Monday, he was cut, and the wide receiver room became more apparent.
Albert Wilson came to the Vikings following three straight seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Wilson played 34 games and drew 12 starts during his time there. He caught 94 passes and was just shy of 1,000 total receiving yards. With five touchdowns in Miami, Wilson nearly surpassed his four-year total of seven during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
There’s no uncertainty regarding the top three wide receivers on the Minnesota depth chart. Justin Jefferson is one of the best at the position across the National Football League, while Adam Thielen is an established veteran. K.J. Osborn took a massive leap forward last year and, despite the competition thought to be brought on by Dede Westbrook, was truly the one who shined.
Beyond that trio, the Vikings depth is exciting and young. Iowa standout Ihmir Smith-Marsette is back and healthy for Minnesota this season, and Michigan State star Jailen Nailor is a name to watch. Bisi Johnson missed all last season following a season-ending injury during Training Camp, but you can bet he’s looking to retain a spot amidst a talented group. The trio of Myron Mitchell, Trishton Jackson, and Dan Chisena are also vying for the opportunity.
It remains to be seen how many receivers the Vikings will roster, but it’s a group that has emerged among the league’s best. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the best in Jefferson, but Osborn’s breakout proved that there’s an opportunity to be seized. Over the offseason, it was consistently a topic of how well new coach Keenan McCardell was received, and his impact on the group as a whole is something to note.
For the draft, McCardell made headlines by suggesting the front office avoid wide receiver depth. He was good with his group, and it’s apparent they have the talent to make it work. Nailor could find his way as a new man, but the veteran holdovers should be expected to lead a potent offense.
Kevin O’Connell was hired due to his offensive prowess with the Los Angeles Rams. He just helped to coach the league-leading Pro Bowler in Cooper Kupp. Getting the Vikings passing game in a flow to have a similar impact would be great for everyone involved.
No matter who rounds out the edges of this group, it should be quite the air attack on opposing defenses.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.