It’s a Done Deal for Vikings Big-Name Rookie

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For three months, Minnesota Vikings debated and predicted which direction the team would travel with its first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Some believed it would be a defensive player, others forecasted a trade-back + then a defender, and a faction theorized wide receiver.

Well, the final group was correct, as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah selected Jordan Addison from USC, a 21-year-old wide receiver, to pair with reigning Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson.

It’s a Done Deal for Vikings Big-Name Rookie

And there will be no summer contractual shenanigans with Addison — or any rookie, as it’s trending — because the wideout is now under contract.

Done Deal for Vikings
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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Wednesday, “The Vikings have signed No. 23 overall pick Jordan Addison, per source. That makes 13 of 31 first-round picks already under contract.”

The deal is standard for a 1st-Round rookie, reportedly for four years and $13.73 million, stocked with the Vikings option to utilize the coveted fifth-year button in 2027. That’s right — Addison can now accompany Jefferson for at least the next five years if he lives up to his reputation.

1st Mock Draft Says
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The contract agreement is not surprising but is good to have in the rearview. Now, Addison can focus on minicamp in 26 days, a chance to showcase his skillset in front of teammates and coaches — and incumbent WR K.J. Osborn, who will also vie for the WR2 job this summer. On paper, Minnesota owns one of the most exciting offenses in the business despite losing Adam Thielen to the Carolina Panthers in March and possibly Dalvin Cook in about two weeks.

The Vikings have now signed five of six players from their 2023 draft class, needing only to sign running back DeWayne McBride from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Minnesota scooped McBride from the 7th Round of April’s draft, and he figures to contend for RB2 or RB3 snaps, especially if the aforementioned Cook is traded or released.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison provides a new element to Minnesota’s offense — the option to pivot in games when Jefferson is neutralized. The LSU alumnus is rarely taken out of a game altogether by an opposing defensive coordinator, but when defenses sell out to tame Jefferson, the Vikings, in theory, now have Addison to make them pay. That’s the working theory, anyway.

At USC and Pittsburgh, Addison totaled 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons. The man has the resume. He’s 5’11” and 170 pounds — not the largest pass-catcher under the sun — but does command targets and should duly receive those on Sundays in a Vikings pass-happy offense.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. | Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings fans are accustomed to two big-name wide receivers, whether Thielen and his old pal Stefon Diggs patrolling on offense from 2015 to 2019, Thielen and Jefferson from 2020 to 2022, or ‘the old days’ with Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Adding Addison last month felt like a very ‘Vikings thing’ to undertake.

Minnesota ranked sixth in passing yards last season without Addison.

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).

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