Analyst Thinks Jordan Addison Will Transform Vikings Offense

One Viking Oddly
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The Vikings were carried by their offense in the last few years even when they still employed defensive head coach Mike Zimmer. Since the mass exodus of defenders in 2020, the defense has struggled, and the offense has taken over as the team’s strong suit. That was enhanced by hiring offensive-minded Kevin O’Connell as Zimmer’s successor.

Despite some horrendous defensive performances in 2022, the team won 13 games, including some bad defensive games against QBs of the caliber of Mike White and Mac Jones. Both looked like future Hall of Famers against the Vikes. The offense was good, but it will be even better, according to Mina Kimes.

Analyst Thinks Jordan Addison Will Transform Vikings Offense

Analyst Thinks Jordan Addison Will Transform Vikings Offense
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The Vikings’ offense somehow ranked 18th in EPA/Play last season. The unit was severely dragged down by the rushing attack that ranked 29th, while the passing offense ranked 10th. In terms of scoring offense, Minnesota fielded the 8th best offense in football, scoring 24.9 points per game and sixth in yards per game with 359.8.

However, the best part of the Vikings, the passing attack, could be a lot better in the upcoming season because of the addition of first-round pick Jordan Addison, thinks Mina Kimes, ESPN analyst.

I think the offense is going to be good. The Addison pick…I was higher on him than some. I understand the questions about his size but I really just think he has elite separation skills. I really like his route running and most importantly, he joins a Vikings offense that last year had one receiver, Justin Jefferson, who ranked fifth in yards per route run which we like to look at wide receiver productivity and usage, and not another wide receiver in the top 100. Not another one. T.J. Hockenson, who joined the team midseason ended up 51st.

Justin Jefferson had all those games where he was doubled and bracketed and they weren’t worried about Adam Thielen separating…K.J. Osborn is a useful player but things are going to be so different for him (Jefferson) with the presence of another wide receiver who can threaten at all three levels.

I think the Vikings and Kevin O’Connell, that offense is a really good landing place for Addison in terms of playing to his strengths, finding ways to hide his weaknesses. He won’t have to beat press as much in this offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if this passing game looks way better than it did last year and I think in doing so, it’s going to be an easier time for whoever is running the football.

Mina Kimes
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Kimes described Addison’s skillset well. He is a smooth receiver with excellent route-running ability, which should help him contribute at the next level early in his career. On the flip side, he only weighs 170 pounds, which can lead to defensive backs pushing him around, But as Kimes said, he won’t face a lot of press coverage when the defenses focus on Jefferson.

Neither Thielen nor Osborn beat single coverage consistently enough to take some pressure off Jefferson. Defenses could get away with throwing everything at him without getting punished. If Addison is as good as advertised, that will change. He can feast with all the space if Jefferson keeps going up against double and triple coverage. Of course, having Hockenson in the middle of the field will also help.

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Another underrated wrinkle Kimes alluded to is the running game which will also benefit from another offensive weapon on the outside. It’s unclear who will be the starting running back in Minnesota at this point, but that player certainly likes having some more space.

The offense will be led again by veteran passer Kirk Cousins, who turned into one of the elite clutch QBs in the NFL. A decline in play has not been visible, but he will turn 35 in August. His successor is likely not in the building unless rookie Jaren Hall can overcome the odds and become one of the rare starting-caliber QBs drafted on day 3. Regardless, once the successor enters the building, he will have a fantastic supporting cast, two excellent WRs, a top-level tight end, and a former QB as his mentor and head coach.

Addison recorded 3,134 receiving yards in his three college seasons. His sophomore campaign led to winning the Biletnikoff Award, the trophy for the nation’s best wideout. The Vikings hope for similar production in his new purple jersey.

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