One Viking Oddly Listed as ‘Under Pressure’ in 2023

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Viking fans look on during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are under pressure to improve defensively in 2023, as the organization scraped the bottom of the barrel in Kevin O’Connell’s first season per points allowed and yards allowed.

One Viking Oddly Listed as ‘Under Pressure’ in 2023

The offense, though, performed quite well in 2022, ranking fourth in passing touchdowns, seventh in yards gained, eighth in points scored, and eighth in redzone TD percentage.

So when CBS Sports called rookie wideout Jordan Addison one of the NFL’s players ‘most under pressure’ this week, the theory felt a bit odd.

One Viking Oddly
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison on stage after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Indeed, CBS Sports‘ Cody Benjamin defined 14 non-quarterbacks under the most pressure in 2023, and Addison — a 21-year-old — somehow made the cut. Addison will play a WR2 or WR3 role for the 2023 Vikings, and he evidently has a lot on the line.

Benjamin explained, “Justin Jefferson is so good that Minnesota might still win games relying solely on he and T.J. Hockenson in the passing game. But we’ve seen before, on the rare occasions Jefferson is overmatched, Kirk Cousins and Co. go downhill in a hurry.”

Easy with Jordan Addison
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison poses for a photo on the NFL Draft Red Carpet before the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota used the 23rd overall pick on Addison at a spot where many Vikings brains surmised the club would choose a defensive player, trade back, or both.

“Addison may be a rookie, but he’ll be asked to fill Adam Thielen’s shoes immediately, working alongside K.J. Osborn out wide,” Benjamin concluded.

steam for new wr2
Nov 11, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) following the victory against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

An immediately productive Addison would be wonderful for the Vikings offense, but it’s not wholly required. O’Connell has the aforementioned Osborn at his disposal, a man who believed he was the WR2 from the time Thielen was released until the NFL draft.

Because Addison is a 1st-Rounder, he should produce right away. That’s the way the world works for the modern offense-happy NFL. However, if he ‘only’ registered 400-500 yards or something of the sort, all would not be lost. Addison is young enough to ‘take his time,’ if needed, while maturing into Minnesota’s offense.

Do Addison and
Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison watching a video of himself on draft night — accidentally hanging up on the Vikings general manager and head coach. Minnesota selected Addison with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Benjamin also nominated Vikings outside linebacker Marcus Davenport for the ‘most pressure’ category, but his inclusion makes sense. Davenport, a starting EDGE rusher, tabulated just 0.5 sacks in 2022, meaning his total this season must climb to maintain a starting job in the business. Davenport has explained he’s ‘starting from zero’ this season, even wearing the No. 0 for the first time in Vikings history.

The Vikings regular season kicks off two months from today, hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10th at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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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