6 Winners from the Vikings 2023 Preseason

the Ty Chandler
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings 2023 preseason is over, ending the three-game slate with an 0-3 record and a preseason losing streak dating back to 2019.

Minnesota starts the regular season in two weeks at U.S. Bank Stadium versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

6 Winners from the Vikings 2023 Preseason

These players’ stock rose during the preseason winners of standing on the depth chart with roster cuts two days away. They’re listed alphabetically.

1. Jordan Addison (WR)

6 Winners from
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Jordan Addison fired up this highlight during Preseason Game No. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, and it basically convinced Vikings fans and national onlookers that he’s the real deal.

The catch was ruled incomplete, but nobody cared. The replay proved it was a valid reception. Addison later produced memorable moments at training camp, and at least per summer performance, the young playmaker should marvelously complement Justin Jefferson for the next five years.

2. Ty Chandler (RB)

Chart before Final Preseason
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

Chandler didn’t play in the final preseason game, all but silently confirming his status as RB2. The man performed wonderfully in back-to-back preseasons, and this time, it will translate to real regular season playing time.

Alexander Mattison is very much the Vikings RB1, but if he gets hurt for a game or two he probably will; that happens to RBs folks won’t consider Chandler a noticeable downgrade.

3. Nick Muse (TE)

Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) gets around Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (44) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

This man might be deprived a roster spot because of the Vikings coaching staff’s fascination with Johnny Mundt. If preseason player power rankings were a thing for a specific team, Muse would place in Minnesota’s Top 3. He delivered every time the Vikings quarterback dialed his number.

If Kevin O’Connell doesn’t keep four tight ends, Muse is a guaranteed lock for the practice squad and will be called up when T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver, or Mundt miss a game(s).

4. Ivan Pace Jr. (ILB)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

With a standing ovation in order, Pace Jr. effectuated his own hype train. He told the world on social media that the NFL messed up — he used a different word by not drafting him in late April. And he was right.

Forget snagging a roster spot, Pace Jr. has an outside shot to start for the 2023 Vikings. Above all Vikings players from the preseason, the Cincinnati alumnus won the month of August and should be labeled Mr. Mankato or Mr. Eagan.

5. Brandon Powell (WR)

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Powell didn’t play on Saturday versus the Arizona Cardinals. Weirdly, that was a good thing for the former Ram. It likely meant he made the team because players on the field during the third preseason game generally fight and claw for roster spots.

Unless the signals were misaligned, Powell will probably be the Vikings fifth or sixth WR in 2023 and maybe even return punts.

6. Luiji Vilain (OLB)

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Vilain looked quasi-dominant at times during the preseason against second and third-teamers. But Vilain isn’t competing for a starter’s job on the Vikings roster, so showing out versus teams’ backup players is precisely what’s expected from a reservist EDGE rusher.

Minnesota found Vilain last year via undrafted free agency, the same spot as the aforementioned Pace Jr. this offseason. If this trend continues, Vikings fans will wait patiently after each Kwesi Adofo-Mensah draft to learn the identity of the next unsung roster climber.


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).

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

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