After N’Keal Harry, Vikings Add Another WR

Titans wide receiver Jacob Copeland hauls in a pass during preseason training at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Friday morning, July 28, 2023.

One can tell the preseason is afoot, as NFL teams are adding and subtracting players daily. The transaction wire is hopping.

The Minnesota Vikings added former New England Patriots and Chicago Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry on Sunday after placing defensive tackle James Lynch on Injured Reserve.

After N’Keal Harry, Vikings Add Another WR

But they didn’t stop there at WR.

The club added Jacob Copeland, too, on Monday while waiving WR Cephus Johnson.

Keal Harry
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Copeland joins this robust WR group and will vie for a 53-man roster spot:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: K.J. Osborn
WR3: Jalen Nailor
WR4: Jordan Addison
WR5: Jalen Reagor
WR6: Brandon Powell
WR7: Blake Proehl
WR8: Trishton Jackson
WR9: Lucky Jackson
WR10: Thayer Thomas
WR11: N’Keal Harry
WR12: Garett Maag
WR13: Jacob Copeland

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Copeland faces an uphill battle to land a roster spot for the regular season, but stranger things have happened. Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Jalen Nailor, and K.J. Osborn have four WR jobs wrapped up, while the bottom eight players presumably contend for WR5. Frontrunners include Jalen Reagor and Brandon Powell.

The Tennessee Titans unearthed Copeland in the spring after the Maryland alumnus was undrafted. He remained on the Titans roster for about three months but was waived on August 2nd. Copeland will now try on the Vikings for size.

Florida Gators receiver Jacob Copeland (15) runs with the ball after making a catch during a game against the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Dec. 12, 2020. Florida lost 37-34 to the Tigers. © Brad McClenny / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The 5-foot 11-inch playmaker played four seasons at the University of Florida before transferring to Maryland in 2022. All told, he recorded 112 receptions for 1,742 yards and 11 touchdowns in 44 games at the two schools. Copeland also ran a 4.42 second 40-time at the 2023 NFL Combine. He’s got wheels.

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline described Copeland’s strengths during the pre-draft lead-up, “Reliable wideout with next-level size and speed. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, effectively uses his hands to separate from defenders, and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and uses his frame to shield away defenders. Nicely adjusts to the errant throw, gets down to scoop up low passes, and competes to come away with the difficult grab.”

Florida Gators wide receiver Jacob Copeland (1) reaches for the touchdown during the third quarter against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Saturday, October 9, 2021. © Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Pauline said of Copeland’s weaknesses, “Occasionally lets the pass get inside him. Really doesn’t play to his speed. Posted marginal production throughout his college career.”

Copeland was teammates with notable NFLers C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Kaiir Elam, Dameon Pierce, Kyle Pitts, and Kadarius Toney, among others, at Florida.

The Vikings must trim the roster from 91 players to 53 on August 29th.

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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