Jordan Addison Provides Unsung Perk

Fans Finalize Prediction
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Like the 1998 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings didn’t necessarily need to improve the team’s offense but did so anyway a couple of weeks ago, seemingly just because.

The club finished 27th last year in defensive DVOA, 30th in points allowed, and 31st in yards allowed. The defense wasn’t very good, so many Vikings fans believed Minnesota would emphasize defense early in April’s draft.

Jordan Addison Provides Unsung Perk

They did not.

Instead, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pressed the button on offense, selecting USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with the 23rd overall pick. Addison will pair with Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson to take flight in 2023, formulating one of the NFL’s most impressive receiving stables. In theory, Kirk Cousins should feast.

Super Bowl Champ Has
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

And Addison’s presence provides another unsung perk, too — fantasy football relevance. Before 2022, former Viking Adam Thielen could be slipped into a weekly PPR lineup with reasonable expectations by fantasy managers. But Thielen’s fantasy stock dipped in his final year with the Vikings. He ranked 30th among all WRs in 2022 per PPR scoring, sandwiched between Jakobi Meyers and Drake London. Thielen, for the most part, was a nonfactor in fantasy football lineups, aside from bye weeks or deep leagues.

Now, however, the Vikings are “back” for a prominent WR2, at least according to NFL pundits and fantasy football heads. Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema even labeled the USC alumnus last week the WR1 among all rookie pass-catchers.

He explained, “With Adam Thielen gone, the Vikings knew they had to make a splash at receiver at some point in the draft. They did so with their first-round pick, and with it they acquired one of the most ready-made route runners the draft had to offer. As a former Biletnikoff Award winner, Addison knows how to handle being the focal point of a passing attack. He should be able to step in right away and take on some or all of the 107 targets Thielen saw on this team last season.”

Jordan Addison Provides
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.

In addition to putting the Vikings back on the WR2 map, the Sikkema nomination is noteworthy because Addison wasn’t the primary cream-of-the-crop wideout in the draft. That was Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State, who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks. Smith-Njigba, TCU’s Quentin Johnston, and Boston College’s Zay Flowers were even chosen before Addison on draft night.

Addison, a 5’11” 170-pound technician-like WR, is expected to become the Vikings WR2 this summer if he can supplant the aforementioned Osborn.

1st Mock Draft Says
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

The 21-year-old registered 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at Pittsburgh and USC. He’s got the resume.

And if you’re a fantasy football savant, you better put Addison somewhat high on your wishlist.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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