The Surprising Inclusion of Vikings ‘WR Tandem’ Ranking
Via Stefon Diggs + Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson + Adam Thielen, or now Justin Jefferson and the to-be-determined WR2, the Minnesota Vikings have grown accustomed to a certain way of living at wide receiver.
The Surprising Inclusion of Vikings’ WR Tandem’ Ranking
So when CBS Sports ranked the Vikings 2023 WR tandem as the sixth-best in the sport this week, the inclusion wasn’t all too surprising.
The pairing, however, offered some degree of intrigue: CBS Sports Cody Benjamin inferred Jefferson and newcomer Jordan Addison formulated the 2023 WR duo.
Indeed, Benjamin ranked the top one-two duos per team at wide receiver, and Jefferson + Addison checked in at No. 6. That’s fine and dandy — but Addison hasn’t even won a WR2 job yet. That’s what training camp and the preseason are for in the coming weeks.
Benjamin explained, “Addison is a total projection as a first-rounder yet to take an NFL snap, but his best traits — footwork, route-running, etc. — should translate to the pros as he replaces departed fan favorite Adam Thielen.”
The Vikings used the 23rd overall pick on Addison in April’s draft, a fascinating pick because the franchise needed defensive help following the 2022 season.
“The real reason this tandem cracks the top 10: Jefferson is so good on his own — maybe the smoothest, most effortless playmaker in the game this side of Patrick Mahomes — that he simply can’t be left off the list. More than 4,800 yards in three years doesn’t even do justice to his knack for slipping wide open,” Benjamin concluded about Jefferson.
You could probably plop a tree branch on the depth chart at WR2, and Jefferson, plus the tree branch, would crack a Top 10 tandem list. That’s how good Jefferson has been through three seasons in the league. He’s the reigning Offensive Player of the Year and fetched a perfect Madden rating this week.
But the interesting aspect of the CBS Sports pecking order is K.J. Osborn’s exclusion. Addison could very well win the WR2 job in the next two months, but Osborn won’t just roll over and die. He expects to start in 2023 as the WR2, with Addison, a 21-year-old, learning the ropes and eventually taking over.
On the whole, it’s marvelous that Addison is gaining respect as a commodity alongside Jefferson — before stepping foot on an NFL field — but to assume Addison is the bonafide WR2 for 2023 is premature.
Addison must win the job in the next seven weeks, and if he does not, well, Jefferson + Osborn will be one of the NFL’s Top 10 WR tandems.
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).