Keenan McCardell Elated about New Weapon

Called On for Pro
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. McCardell joined the Vikings in 2021 as wide receivers coach and is crediting with helping to develop Justin Jefferson and others.

The Minnesota Vikings could’ve traded down with their 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, selected a defensive player to improve the NFL’s sixth-worst defense per DVOA, or stayed put and drafted the best player available.

Keenan McCardell Elated about New Weapon

Perhaps learning a small lesson in 2022 about not drafting Kyle Hamilton, the club did not trade back and instead selected wide receiver Jordan Addison with the 23rd pick, the fourth wideout off the board after Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Seattle Seahawks), Quentin Johnston (Los Angeles Chargers), and Zay Flowers (Baltimore Ravens).

Elated about New
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And don’t look now, but the guy in charge of Addison’s development is thrilled to have him in the house. He’s Keenan McCardell, a former Pro Bowl WR turned WR coach. The two-time Super Bowl champion chatted with reporters at this week’s organized team activities (OTAs) and expressed his delight over the pick.

I think I had a royal flush right there. I had the royal flush flop and had the other two cards for it. I felt good about the situation because he was our guy that we wanted. Jordan was our guy that we wanted,” McCardell smiled and opined.

Keenan McCardell Elated
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He added, “He was right there, and I laughed. But the fact that ownership, Kevin, Kwesi, and them decided to go ahead and make that decision was great for me and also great for this team.”

McCardell also commented on the vitality of replacing Adam Thielen, who vamoosed to the Carolina Panthers after suffering a cap-casualty fate in March. Now, the Vikings will set sail on 2023 with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, Jalen Nailor, and Jalen Reagor, among others — in addition to tight end T.J. Hockenson in the middle of the field.

1st Mock Draft Says
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The Vikings had long targeted Addison during the draft’s build-up, using a ‘Top 30’ visit on the playmaker. When head coach Kevin O’Connell called Addison with the news on draft night, he mentioned, “I told you we’d get you. Somehow, someway.”

“He has a desire to be great,” O’Connell said about Addison. The Vikings will likely utilize Addison’s talents immediately, especially with the aforementioned Thielen leaving. Until draft night, incumbent WR3 K.J. Osborn seemed on deck for WR2 duty in September, but now Osborn and Addison will undergo a summer camp battle for the secondary job behind Jefferson — another component mentioned by McCardell, the art of competition.

“Competition brings out the best in everybody. My old coach used to tell me the cream rises to the top when competition is there, and it’s going to get the best out of every single person in our room,” McCardell declared.

Addison tallied 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at Pittsburgh and USC.

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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