New Viking Tabbed as Rookie of the Year ‘Best Bet’

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On paper, the Minnesota Vikings should’ve drafted a defensive player with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The club ranked 30th in points allowed last year and 31st in yards allowed while somehow still winning 13 games and the NFC North for the first time in five years.

New Viking Tabbed as Rookie of the Year ‘Best Bet’

But with defenders like cornerback Deonte Banks on the board, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah indulged offense-first affluence, selecting USC wideout Jordan Addison with the pick. After a bumpy run-in with the law involving a reckless driving charge, Addison has shown why Minnesota took the plunge this summer with highlight-reel catches.

Now, he’s getting a little Offensive Rookie of the Year flavor.

Tabbed as Rookie of
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

CBS Sports published an article Friday predicting league award winners for 2023, and in the OROY spot, one man nominated Addison. CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan explained the choice, “Like the long-shot play with Addison here. He’s impressed throughout the summer and if he adopts Adam Thielen’s 107 targets from last season, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to put up numbers in a pass-happy Vikings offense.”

Addison currently has around +2,200 odds to take home OROY bacon.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. | Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota will partner Addison with Justin Jefferson, who is, by the way, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year. Indeed, Jefferson will pursue his 2,000-receiving-yards-in-a-season goal while Addison strives for the top rookie honor.

And that’s on top of T.J. Hockenson’s presence, a man who signed a record-setting deal on Thursday to remain a Viking through the end of the 2027 season.

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Minnesota’s offense is gaudy, and that’s not a bad thing. Addison should have more room than a Land Rover to explore the Vikings offense, with space of the field freed up by Jefferson, Hockenson, and WR2 K.J. Osborn.

In May, FanDuel’s Kay Adams predicted a monster season for Addison, too, “We gotta give Jordan some love. And now you’ve got Justin Jefferson there, but situation matters so much when you look at which rookie receivers pop up. He is — because of Justin Jefferson and a whole other bunch of reasons — in the best possible spot to kind of have a monster year.”

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

“They’re gonna pass the ball even more, the Vikings. You get rid of Dalvin Cook — I know he caught the ball a little bit — but I mean, having the best receiver in the game in Justin Jefferson helps him, so hopefully that frees up Addison to make big plays out of the gate,” Adams added.

Other OROY candidates mentioned by CBS Sports? Bijan Robinson, Bryce Young, Zay Flowers, and Anthony Richardson.

The Vikings kick off the regular season a week from Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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