So, How Long Does Jordan Addison Have to Wait?

3 Rookies Could
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The Minnesota Vikings welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday as they kick off their 2023 NFL regular season. While Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins are locked in, it remains to be seen how first-round pick Jordan Addison will respond. It does appear he won’t start his first professional game, however.

So, How Long Does Jordan Addison Have to Wait?

Looking at the Vikings depth chart, the wide receivers at Kirk Cousins’ disposal are slated to be Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn. That doesn’t mean that first-round pick Jordan Addison isn’t going to get plenty of snaps, but he’ll begin his career a rung down in the wide receiver pecking order.

Jordan Addison Have
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Although it was a much different organization when Jefferson joined the Vikings, he too did so as a first-round pick. Playing for head coach Mike Zimmer, Jefferson didn’t start either of his first two games as a professional. Playing in all 16 for Minnesota during the 2020 season, he drew his first start in Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans.

The lack of a starting position out of the gate didn’t hurt Jefferson as a rookie. He went on to haul in 88 catches for exactly 1,400 yards. Minnesota would love to see that production level from Addison out of the gate, and it would immediately vault him to the front of the class. How quickly he can overtake Osborn remains to be seen.

Last season, head coach Kevin O’Connell had Osborn playing as the Vikings third wide receiver behind talented veteran Adam Thielen. Despite Thielen having lost a step and not being the same talent, Osborn had a down year, totaling fewer yards and seeing a drop in yards per reception. He had some big moments and was a focal point of a comeback win against the Indianapolis Colts. If not for him being featured in a Week 18 game with starters being rested, though, the totals could have been even less.

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Addison did miss some time during camp due to a concussion, but he also showed extremely well during limited preseason action. It shouldn’t be shocking if the former USC Trojans wideout immediately makes an impact and quickly finds himself worked up into the starting lineup. The hope for O’Connell is that a passing attack adding full seasons of Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson can take further pressure off the defense.

Minnesota went 13-4 last year to win the NFC North. They shouldn’t need that same record in 2023 to accomplish the same goal, and if Addison can help stretch the field, O’Connell’s second-year offense may continue to work without missing a beat. The sooner Addison can establish himself behind Jefferson, the better the Vikings will be.

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How rookies develop is not a linear path, and while Jefferson has emerged to become one of the best players across the entire NFL, Addison will look to incrementally build upon his successes. The hope for Minnesota is that there would be many of them, and the more that Addison can win in 1-on-1 situations, the better opportunities Jefferson will have to exploit the defense opposite of him.

It shouldn’t take long for Addison to become a trusted part of the Vikings offense, and having a coming out game early would go a long way to cementing his place in the offense. Osborn has shown to be a dependable but lesser option. Addison can raise the bar and bring the Vikings offense along with him.

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.