Top Vikings Rookie Is Ready for the Dance

3 Rookies Could
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The Vikings draft class brought the team six new players. They also signed 15 undrafted free agents, a group loaded with talent. Even if the number of drafted players is low, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added some wonderful players, some of them will be contributors early in their professional careers.

The three defenders added in the mid-rounds, defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy, cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, and defensive back Jay Ward will all be in competitions for starting gigs. Seventh-round running back DeWayne McBride will be another player who tries to earn some snaps, which would be much easier if the rumored Dalvin Cook trade indeed happens.

Top Vikings Rookie Is Ready for the Dance

Someone who is almost guaranteed a significant role in his rookie campaign is first-rounder Jordan Addison. He was the first Vikings selection in the draft, and most pundits praised the pick.

Top Vikings Rookie Is Ready for the Dance
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Addison is a wide receiver, one of the most exciting positions from a fan standpoint. The superstars either play quarterback, running back, or wideout, and the rookie enters the season with huge expectations. Vikings fans saw just three years ago how big of a difference a rookie receiver can make when Justin Jefferson took the league by storm and recorded unbelievable 1,400 yards, an NFL record in a debut season.

The new guy in town actually has some similarities with Jefferson when he came into the league. Both were talked about as slot receivers, but they did a lot of damage when they were outside in college. Both were amongst the most productive receivers to come out of college in recent years despite entering the draft at a young age. In addition to that, the two are masterful route runners. They know exactly how to set up a defender right before breaking a route, and they both have outstanding footwork.

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Because of their versatility, Kevin O’Connell will have a lot of fun drawing up plays for his top weapons. The inside and outside flexibility and the full route tree of the duo can lead to an explosive offense.

When Addison was asked by Vikings reporter Gabe Henderson about what the offense with him and Jefferson complementing each other will look like, he claimed a fun thing. “I know what it’s going to look like, griddying everywhere. A whole lot of touchdowns.”

Addison, indeed, knows how to score touchdowns. He scored 29 in college and 17 in 2021 alone on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award, the trophy for the nation’s top wideout.

Hockenson Chatter
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Another fun wrinkle to think about is that the duo isn’t playing by themselves. They also have tight end T.J. Hockenson, one of the best in the business. Hockenson played in ten meaningful games with the Vikings and recorded 63.2 yards per game in those contests. Since 2020, only tight end Travis Kelce has had more than that. Hockenson ties Mark Andrews and even tops George Kittle in that span.

Minnesota also still employs K.J. Osborn, who was expected to step up into the vacant WR2 role. That might not happen now because Addison is a more talented player. However, Osborn has proven to be a decent WR3 in the last couple of years. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal and will be motivated to prove some fans and even the front office wrong.

No Love for Kevin
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Having the best receiver in the business and pairing him with another talented and dynamic playmaker, an excellent tight end, and a fine WR3 makes the Vikings offense one of the best in the league. Kirk Cousins will certainly be pleased with his weapons, and he is fantastic at spreading the ball around and finding the open receiver. Having an offensive-minded head coach helps. The team also made sure to support the running game by signing run block experts Josh Oliver and center Garrett Bradbury.

Vikings fans must be patient. The first griddy of Jefferson and Addison together will come at the earliest in September. Addison later added, “Y’all got the steal out of this draft.” And if his play on the field can back up his confidence, the Vikings will be in good shape.

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