Vikings HC Recognizes the WR ‘Problem’

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Who to keep?

That’s on Minnesota Vikings fans’ minds at the bottom of the team’s WR depth chart, with roster cuts just eight days away.

Vikings HC Recognizes the WR ‘Problem’

The Vikings have all but afforded four roster spots — and rightfully so — to prominent wide receivers named Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Jordan Addison, and Jalen Nailor. After that, it’s a grand WR5 mystery, which could end up as a WR6 solution.

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Tuesday., July 25th, 2023. The Vikings won the NFC North in Kevin O’Connell’s first year, thanks to a 13-4 record. O’Connell is the league’s second-youngest coach as of 2023.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell put the WR5-WR6 battle in perspective Saturday night after his team lost its second preseason game of the year, this time at home to the Tennessee Titans.

“I think that group is going to be very tough for us to figure out whether it’s five or six. Ultimately what the depth looks like on the practice squad, there’s probably four or five names that are all deserving. These are good problems to have, but you’re trying to figure out how it will all fit,” O’Connell explained.

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For perspective, here’s the entire WR section of the depth chart at the moment:

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

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O’Connell also added, “You start to look at Jalen Reagor. Brandon Powell has had an excellent training camp, doing so many things I don’t think people realize sometimes all the different jobs he can do. Jalen Reagor’s speed, we kind of tried to get him over the couple times tonight. Either the pocket or coverage didn’t allow it. His speed is a real factor. I think about just the depth of getting Trishton back from that kind of near scare we had, getting him back, getting all these snaps for him.”

In O’Connell’s first year, the club kept five WRs for the regular season, but it seems he’s at least open to retaining six for his second act.

Recognizes the WR
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“Knowing we should get Jordan back this week will be huge for us. K.J. and Justin have been getting their work throughout. I would love to get Jalen Nailor some work here at some point if we can, but he’s a player that I think very highly of, and just want to continue to see how that whole group, especially on the back end, fits with how we want to play with multiple personnel groupings and trying to commit to building our run game up,” O’Connell concluded about the evolving WR room.

If the Vikings keep five wideouts, it’s a four-way race for one spot: Reagor, Powell, Trishton Jackson, and Harry.

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On the other hand, a six-man WR group might imply Reagor’s safety at WR5, with Powell, Trishton Jackson, and N’Keal Harry vying for WR6.

The Vikings final preseason game kicks off this Saturday at noon versus the Arizona Cardinals. More clarity on the WR5-WR6 spot will be at the forefront of attention.

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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