3 ‘Losers’ of the Vikings Draft

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Whenever a team brings in new players, some old ones lose their jobs. A good example was in 2017 when the Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook, and the tandem of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon immediately lost the majority of their snaps to the uber-talented runner.

The Vikings added six new players in the draft and signed 15 more undrafted guys right after. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made sure to address some weak positions and selected players with a lot of production in their college careers. Some of them should be ready to go soon.

3 ‘Losers’ of the Vikings Draft

Having only one pick in the first two rounds limited the Vikings’ impact in the draft, but they still found some excellent players who should contribute early in their careers. Because of that, there are some players in trouble.

K.J. Osborn

The fourth-year receiver was expected to finally take over the WR2 job after the departure of veteran Adam Thielen, but that won’t happen. Minnesota’s first pick of the draft was the selection of wideout Jordan Addison. The former USC and Pittsburgh star won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver in 2021 and was incredibly productive in his three-year college stint. He scored 29 receiving TDs and racked up 3,134 yards.

3 Losers of the Vikings Draft
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Osborn, meanwhile, has been a fine WR3, firing up 655 and 650 yards in the last couple of seasons. Addison is the far superior talent and should usurp Osborn early in his tenure in Minnesota, especially because of his refined route running. He is well-developed for his only 21 years of age. Osborn will once again be the third wideout, and T.J. Hockenson will also take targets away from him.

Another wrinkle is the veteran is entering his contract year, and the selection of Addison could indicate an Osborn departure in the next free agency period.

Ty Chandler

Ty Chandler got some competition at the backup parts on the running back depth chart. Last year’s rookie rarely saw the field in his debut season, carrying the ball only six times. The Vikings had a decent running back duo with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, and he missed some time with an injury, but six carries followed by another running back draft selection is a bad sign.

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Seventh-round pick DeWayne McBride is a throwback-style power back without real catching experience, which he must work on to play in the NFL in 2023. He only caught five passes in his three years in college. However, he is a fantastic runner. Breaking tackles is his specialty.

Cook is still rumored to leave the team either via trade or release. Mattison would likely take over as the lead back, but the Vikings should be interested in having a committee approach. The second spot in that committee is an open race between McBride and Chandler rather than just handed to Chandler. McBride is over three years younger than Chandler.

Backup Defensive Tackles

The gap of Dalvin Tomlinson hasn’t been filled since his departure, and the backups had their chance to shine. Even though the Vikings didn’t draft a top defensive tackle, they brought in a quality one, Jaquelin Roy, out of LSU, who drew some comparisons to Tomlinson.

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Roy might need some time to grow into an NFL player and the starting lineup, but he has the potential to help the team in both run and pass defense. He is a powerful player who can play nose tackle and defensive end.

The addition will hurt players like Ross Blacklock and James Lynch. Blacklock was added to the team via trade last year but struggled whenever he was on the field. Roy will take away a roster spot. Lynch likely hoped to slip into the starting unit, but Roy is another talented player to fight off in his contract year.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt