Vikings to Meet with ‘Their’ Draft Favorite

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings might fancy a wide receiver replacement for Adam Thielen, who journeyed to the Carolina Panthers in March.

The franchise also has a considerable need at cornerback, making the lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft truly exciting — and confusing.

Vikings to Meet with ‘Their’ Draft Favorite

Well, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is doing his homework on wide receivers, presumably in Round 1, and one, in particular, will meet with the Vikings this week — USC’s Jordan Addison.

to Meet with
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday, “After visiting the Patriots and the Ravens last week, USC WR Jordan Addison, in contention to be the first receiver off the board, has another busy week. He’s visiting the Vikings, then he has the Giants and Bills. He’s Move The Sticks 13th overall prospect.”

The Vikings No. 23 pick should be prime real estate to land Addison if the club doesn’t trade back. Adofo-Mensah has just five picks scheduled for the end of the month, and the simplest way to nudge the total closer to the standard seven would be a trade-back from the 23rd pick — similar to his strategy last year. Various draft brains believe Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be the first wideout off the board, but after him, Addison could be second.

Predicts Vikings 1st
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Additionally, as of late March, Addison was the odds-on favorite to land with Minnesota via the draft.

Per Bookies, these were the moneylines for the Vikings draft favorites:

  • Jordan Addison = +350
  • Zay Flowers = +375
  • Deonte Banks = +500
  • Quentin Johnston = +600
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba = +750
  • Cam Smith = +850
  • Joey Porter Jr. = +1000

In February, ESPN’s Todd McShay mock-drafted Addison to the Vikings and explained, “Adam Thielen is entering his age-33 season, so Minnesota could take the best player available here and get a speedy, instinctive running mate for Justin Jefferson. Addison was just shy of 1,600 receiving yards in 2021 at Pitt before transferring to USC and picking up another 875 yards and eight scores. He has versatility to line up outside or in the slot.”

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison is known for his technical prowess in separating from defenders and can be a high-volume workhorse. At 5’11” and 173 pounds, he’s certainly not known for size, but general managers care less and less about “big wide receivers” in the NFL. Addison ran a 4.49 forty at the 2023 NFL Combine.

If the Vikings don’t select Addison or draft-mate Smith Njigba, they’d likely rely on incumbent wideout K.J. Osborn for WR2 duty this season — an idea that felt like a longshot two months ago.

Minnesota has drafted six wide receivers in Round 1 during the last 25 years, and those men have 14 Pro Bowls among them.


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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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

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