WATCH: Rookie Jordan Addison in Action for the First Time

from Vikings Rookie
Jordan Addison on first day as a Viking after the team selected him in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Vikings chose Addison 23rd on April 27th, 2023, and he'll immediately vie for a WR2 job next to Justin Jefferson.

The Vikings rookies, all six drafted players, the undrafted free agents, and some rookie tryouts came together for the annual rookie minicamp. Center Josh Sokol and defensive tackle T.J. Smith were the only veterans under contract on the field.

Vikings fans certainly are anxious to see quarterback Jaren Hall in action. The fifth-round selection was one of two quarterbacks in attendance. The other was rookie tryout player Logan Nelson from the University of Mary. But there was another attraction on the field.

WATCH: Rookie Jordan Addison in Action for the First Time

Watch: Rookie Jordan Addison In Action For the First Time
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

First-round receiver Jordan Addison will be a big part of the Vikings’ future as the running mate of Justin Jefferson. He took his first snaps in a Vikings shirt, the first of many. The organization’s social media team released a video to create some excitement about their expensive rookie, and it worked.

The caption is a perfect description of Addison’s game. He is a smooth receiver with excellent route-running skills. While he is not a burner, his ability to sell routes is top-notch. He can simply put defenders on skates by using every bit of leverage the cornerback gives him.

A video in shorts without a defender anywhere near him doesn’t mean much, but it’s easy to spot how well he moves on the field and how natural his catches are.

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Addison had a wonderful career in college. In his first two seasons, he starred in Pittsburgh, recording 666 yards and 4 TDs as a true freshman. In his sophomore campaign, he was the best receiver in the country, winning the Biletnikoff Award to prove it after firing up 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns, which helped his passer Kenny Pickett get drafted in the first round.

After his stellar sophomore season, Addison transferred to USC, where he played with projected 2024 first-overall pick Caleb Williams and brilliant offensive mind Lincoln Riley. Addison’s numbers declined in the new spread offense with some more excellent wideouts next to him, but his 875 yards and 8 TDs still led the team in both categories.

The rookie is expected to take over for the departed Adam Thielen, who was released after a down year in efficiency to save some cap space. He signed with the Panthers and will catch passes from first-overall pick Bryce Young.

NFL Analyst Criticizes Kirk Cousins
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Addison is a pro-ready receiver with significant college production, and it’s unlikely for him to take long until he becomes the WR2 in Minnesota, even though veteran K.J. Osborn might get the start in the first few weeks.

The two receivers are part of one of the best passing attacks in the league, orchestrated by Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins who is throwing for north of 4,000 yards and about 30 touchdowns every season. Reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson, is obviously the focal point of the offense, but defenses also know that. He is getting double-teamed a lot, a defensive strategy that will help Addison in his rookie campaign. There are only so many defenders; not every receiver can face two.

In the middle of the field, the Vikings have one of the premier tight ends in the NFL. T.J. Hockenson was a tremendous addition to the team just before the trade deadline arrived during the 2022 season, and he immediately made a significant impact.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A positive for Addison’s development is that he won’t have to be the top guy in the offense. Even a slow start to his career wouldn’t be devastating, as the Vikings have weapons around him. He can grow slowly and become the best version of himself without any pressure. However, the expectations are still high, and they should be for a receiver of his caliber with his college production and the refined technician he is.

If the Vikes hit their first-round pick, the duo of Addison and Jefferson would be one of the scariest in the NFL for many years to come.

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