Vikings Swap 2 Rookie Receivers on Monday

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

A busy week for Vikings fans to keep up with all the moves got even more confusing on Monday.

Vikings Swap 2 Rookie Receivers on Monday

Last week, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah waived offensive tackles Sam Schlueter and Bobby Evans to bring in Christian DiLauro and Jarrid Williams. Running back Abram Smith received a roster spot opened by the release of fullback Zach Ojile. James Lynch had to be placed on IR after tearing his ACL – N’Keal Harry was signed.

swap 2
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Now, another move took place, as the Vikings announced. Wide receiver Cephus Johnson is out, and fellow receiver Jacob Copeland is in. Both are undrafted rookies.

Copeland signed with the Tennessee Titans after the draft but was waived last week. He will now get a second chance in Minnesota. After having to redshirt his freshman campaign, the wideout played three seasons at Florida and transferred to Stefon Diggs’ alma mater Maryland for his fifth and final year in college. Playing in 44 collegiate games, Copeland recorded 1,742 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The newest Viking has an intriguing athletic profile, running a 4.42 40-yard dash with fantastic 10-yard and 20-yard splits.

In his pre-draft scouting report, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote: “Explosive athlete with NFL size and traits but lacking an NFL skill set at the position. Copeland clearly has the athletic profile of an NFL wideout and that will make him worthy of attention. His production has been average, though, and his tape does not always inspire. Copeland is missing the instincts and route acumen to set up his breaks and elude coverage. The physical profile gives him a shot, but he will need to impress in camp to garner a roster opportunity.”

Titans wide receiver Jacob Copeland hauls in a pass during preseason training at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Friday morning, July 28, 2023.

He needs to impress in camp, which is exactly what he can do in Minnesota. Arriving at camp a couple of weeks later is always tough, but if he can showcase his athletic skills, he could be a dark horse to snatch a roster spot or at least one on the practice squad.

The current Vikings WR room after all the changes:

  1. Justin Jefferson
  2. K.J. Osborn
  3. Jordan Addison
  4. Jalen Nailor
  5. Jalen Reagor
  6. Brandon Powell
  7. N’Keal Harry
  8. Blake Proehl
  9. Trishton Jackson
  10. Thayer Thomas
  11. Lucky Jackson
  12. Garett Maag
  13. Jacob Copeland

The Vikings needed some depth after Trishton Jackson got hurt. Jalen Nailor has missed all but one practice.

Quarterback Cephus Johnson throws a pass as Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns take on Southeastern Louisiana Football at Cajun Field. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Cajuns Vs. Southeastern Football 7002

Cephus Johnson was an interesting player. Now waived, he came in as a college quarterback, trying to make the switch to wide receiver. He had close to no receiver experience but passed 214 times last year for 1,527 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions as a quarterback. Johnson is 6’5″ and 220 pounds and ran a 4.5 40-yard dash. He added 8 scores on the ground and rushed for 611 yards. He will undoubtedly get another shot somewhere because of his size and athleticism.

The new receiving corps will show up in Thursday’s preseason contest against the Seattle Seahawks.


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