3 Vikings Players Who Could Be ‘On Notice’ after NFL Draft

A Lovable Success Story
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings players celebrate after an interception by Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) against the Washington Commanders during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

In the last three days, the Minnesota Vikings added 21 new players from the NFL draft and undrafted free agency.

The roster will soon balloon to 90 players and stay that way until the end of summer.

3 Vikings Players Who Could Be ‘On Notice’ after NFL Draft

These are the new draftees:

  • R1: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
  • R3: Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
  • R4: Jay Ward (S, LSU)
  • R5: Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
  • R5: Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
  • R7: DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)

And the undrafted free agents:

  • Alan Ali (OL, TCU)
  • Calvin Avery (DT, Illinois)
  • Abraham Beauplan (ILB, Marshall)
  • Andre Carter II (EDGE, Army)
  • Jacky Chen (OL, Pace)
  • C.J. Coldon (CB, Oklahoma)
  • Wilson Huber (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Cephus Johnson (WR, SE Louisiana)
  • Malik Knowles (WR, Kansas State)
  • Ivan Pace, Jr. (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Jack Podlesny (K, Georgia)
  • Ben Sims (TE, Baylor)
  • Thayer Thomas (WR, N.C. State)
  • NaJee Thompson (CB, Georgia Southern)
  • Jaylin Williams (CB, Indiana)

Following those moves, these three players could be “on notice” for a starting job in September.

1. Dalvin Cook

Friendly to Dalvin
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The interesting part about anything “on notice” about Cook? He likely doesn’t care. Cook and his agent have implied the end is nigh in Minneapolis for a couple of weeks. Perhaps Cook, the Vikings, and a different team await June 1st to actionize a trade. We shall see.

On the whole, the Vikings don’t need five running backs. Cook is joined on the depth chart at the moment by Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and rookie DeWayne McBride.

Selecting McBride in Round 7 was another bombastic signal that Cook probably won’t play for the Vikings in September. Mattison, Chandler, and McBride could handle RB1 duties, respectively, for some NFL teams. The Vikings employ all three.

2. K.J. Osborn

On Notice
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

As the draft approached, one of the top Minnesota mysteries concerned Osborn’s WR2 status. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did not sign an experienced free-agent WR like D.J. Chark or Darius Slayton. Both were available for cheap.

It would be Osborn as WR2 in 2023 or a 1st-Round draft pick on a wideout. Those were the stakes — ironclad.

Then, the Vikings selected Jordan Addison from USC in Round 1, a target hog who won’t be denied attention in an offense. Therefore, unless Addison is awful and draft experts swung and missed on his scouting report, Osborn will likely stay put at WR3.

Osborn is also scheduled to hit free agency in 10.5 months.

3. Unnamed Slot CB Contender Man

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team’s defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

Vague, we know.

Vikings loyalists really don’t know who will play the slot cornerback role in 2023. Byron Murphy? Camryn Bynum converted from safety? Tay Gowan? Like WR3, it was a head-scratcher.

Well, whoever was tentatively scheduled for the gig received competition from LSU’s Jay Ward. The Tiger is technically listed as a safety, but with a proficient summer, Ward could be coming to slot CB assignments to a Vikings football field near you. That’s his modus operandi.

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 OverTheCap.com.