Vikings Formally Name WR2 to Start Season

Predicts Unpleasant Vikings

Immediately following the 2023 NFL Draft, Minnesota Vikings fans wondered if rookie Jordan Addison had enough oomph to win the WR2 job — a job he is destined to eventually earn — right away as a rookie.

The answer is no.

Vikings Formally Name WR2 to Start Season

The Vikings released a regular season depth chart Tuesday, with Week 1 five days away, and veteran K.J. Osborn was listed as the WR2.

Formally Name WR2
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates the win against the Indianapolis Colts after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Osborn enters Year Four with the team and successfully held Addison, the rookie, at bay this summer. Addison will man the WR3 job to start the year and perhaps take over the WR2 job, depending on his early-season performance.

Here’s the Vikings full WR corps noted in the depth chart release:

  • WR1: Justin Jefferson
  • WR2: K.J. Osborn
  • WR3: Jordan Addison
  • WR4: Jalen Nailor
  • WR5: Brandon Powell
K.J. Osborn Does It Again
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) catches a touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota spent 1st-Round draft capital on Addison, so it’s only a matter of time before he swipes the WR2 job. For now, though, Osborn has the job in title, and fans will watch this week [and beyond] to determine the target equity between the men.

Osborn has established himself as a clutch playmaker, always there when the Vikings need a 4th Quarter reception — or help with the largest comeback in NFL history. Justin Jefferson, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year, discussed several topics with Bleacher Report last month, and Osborn was on the menu. The Vikings superstar chatted about his contract, the role of running backs in the contemporary NFL, his pursuit of a Super Bowl in 2023, enjoyment with Kirk Cousins as his QB1 — and Osborn.

“KJ has always always been the sleeper. People don’t really focus on KJ as much as they need to. I saw like a week or two ago, they came out with a list of the top wide receiver duos in the league, and we weren’t top 10,” Jefferson told Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway.

All National Power Rankings
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Osborn had tabulated 110 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in his three-year career. All of the production occurred in 2021 and 2022, as Osborn was not used on offense during his rookie season.

Jefferson elaborated on the sleeper status for Osborn, “So I sent it to [Osborn] and told him that we gotta prove everybody wrong, we gotta get to work, and he agreed. He wants to fill in that role of being that number two guy and being a big part of this offense.”

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell takes to wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison, the for-the-time-being WR3, showed several glimpses of marvelousness this summer, especially a tippy-toe reception against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason. The catch was ruled illegal, but replay very vividly proved otherwise.

With Jefferson at WR1, Osborn at WR2, and Addison at WR3, the Vikings begin the regular season Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Minnesota is favored to win by six points.

Osborn’s attainment of the WR2 job marks a first-of-its-kind moment in his young career. He was previously the WR3 behind Adam Thielen, who left for the Carolina Panthers in March.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by