Former Viking Has Huge Night in Chiefs Preseason Game

Vikings WR Traded
Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic.

The Kansas City Chiefs hope to become the first NFL team to repeat as world champions in almost 20 years this season, kicking off the quest in about 2.5 weeks at home versus the Detroit Lions.

Former Viking Has Huge Night in Chiefs Preseason Game

But first, Patrick Mahomes and Co. have preseason games to tune up, and on Saturday night, it crushed the Arizona Cardinals 38-10.

And wouldn’t you know it? A former Minnesota Vikings wideout stole the show — Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Huge Night
Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic.

Scooped out of the 2021 NFL Draft by former Vikings GM Rick Spielman, Smith-Marsette produced a big night in the desert, slicing and dicing the Cardinals awful defense for 4 receptions, 92 yards, and a touchdown. His teammate, rookie Rashee Rice, also abused Arizona with 8 catches for 96 yards.

For now, Smith-Marsette, 23, lives smack dab on top of the Chiefs roster bubble as roster cut-downs loom on August 29th. Here’s Kansas City’s WR room:

WR1: Kadarius Toney
WR2: Skyy Moore
WR3: Rashee Rice
WR4: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
WR5: Richie James
WR6: Justin Watson
WR7: Justyn Ross
WR8: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
WR9: Nikko Remigio
WR10: Kekoa Crawford
WR11: Cornell Powell
WR12: Ty Scott
WR13: Ty Fryfogle

Promising Viking Elevated
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

The Chiefs will likely keep five or six wide receivers on the 53-man roster, so Smith-Marsette needed the monster preseason showing.

The Vikings released Smith-Marsette on the same day last summer that Jalen Reagor joined the club via trade. The news was stunning for Vikings fans, as Smith-Marsette was theorized as the team’s WR4 at this time last year.

But that forecast was fan-driven, as Smith-Marsette struggled mightily in his next adventure with the Chicago Bears. His tenure in Chicago lasted about seven weeks, and the Bears said sayonara to the 23-year-old in October after a series of bloopers. Smith-Marsette encountered drops, penalties, fumbles, and generalized futility with the Bears, so the relationship was short-lived.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota selected Smith-Marsette in the 5th Round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but like much of that draft class, he was chopped by Minnesota’s new leadership regime in 2022. Sixty-three percent of the Vikings 2021 draft class now plays elsewhere.

In 2021 as a rookie, Smith-Marsette caught 5 passes for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. He seemed rather promising in Minnesota but should serve as a cautionary tale that sometimes fans just get it wrong.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette Heads to Super Bowl Contender
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Chiefs used Smith-Marsette on 13 total plays in 2022. His Chiefs are favored to win the Super Bowl again this year, according to oddsmakers, followed closely by the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings play the Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 8th.

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).

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