Vikings Have a Meeting with Standout WR Prospect

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California wide receiver Jordan Addison (WO01) runs in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For life after Adam Thielen, who joined the Carolina Panthers on March 19th, the Minnesota Vikings can ride with K.J. Osborn at WR2, sign Odell Beckham, trade for a Courtland Sutton type, or draft a WR with the team’s first draft pick at the end of the month.

Those are the options, and it would be hard to imagine a curveball otherwise.

Vikings Have a Meeting with Standout WR Prospect

And if Monday was a reasonable indicator, the Vikings could explore the final option, drafting a big-name wideout. The franchise is reportedly meeting with Jordan Addison from USC for a pre-draft visit.

Meeting with Standout
Nov 11, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) following the victory against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison is forecasted to fly off the draft board in the middle or late part of Round 1, and wouldn’t you know it? That’s where the Vikings pick, at No. 23. NFL analyst Aaron Wilson tweeted Monday, “Sources: USC standout wide receiver Jordan Addison’s visits include Vikings, Ravens, Giants, Patriots plus local visit with Chargers.”

Of course, the Vikings could merely be conducting draft diligence with Addison, but if he wasn’t on the team’s radar, why schedule an intimate visit? Chatting with Addison implies the Vikings are at least intrigued by adding a pass-catcher early in the draft.

CBS Sports Says WR
Nov 19, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) celebrates his touchdown scored against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison-Vikings connections are nothing new, either. In February, ESPN’s Todd McShay mock-drafted Addison to Minnesota and explained the pick this week, “Adam Thielen is entering his age-33 season, so Minnesota could take the best player available here and get a speedy, instinctive running mate for Justin Jefferson. Addison was just shy of 1,600 receiving yards in 2021 at Pitt before transferring to USC and picking up another 875 yards and eight scores. He has versatility to line up outside or in the slot.”

“For those wondering why the Vikings would sidestep their defensive needs — they allowed 5.9 yards per play in 2022, third highest in the NFL — it really comes down to the board. Texas A&M safety Antonio Johnson or Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders might fit, but this is still early for both.” McShay concluded.

Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) runs away from Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) for a first down in the first half at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison is known for his workhorse capability regarding an NFL’s team target load, route-running, and body control. At 5’11″ and 175 pounds, he’s certainly not renowned for size, but general managers care less and less about “big wide receivers” in the NFL.

Pro Football Network’s James Fragoza describes Addison in this way, “Insane catches are littered throughout his highlight reel, and you can see at least one in almost every game. He demonstrated elite concentration near the sideline and in the end zone. He exhibited rare body control midair and when adjusting to passes. And the former Panther goes up with vigor and attacks the ball.”

The Vikings have hit the USC wishing well four times since 2010, drafting Cameron Smith (LB), Matt Kalil (OT), Rhett Ellison (RB), and Everson Griffen (DE).

Minnesota also has draft needs at cornerback, off-ball linebacker, and perhaps interior defensive line.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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