Vikings Get Lucky. That’s His Name.

Is a Lucky
May 13, 2023; San Antonio, TX, USA; DC Defenders wide receiver Lucky Jackson (11) celebrates with DC Defenders wide receiver Josh Hammond (0) after HammondÕs touchdown in the second half against the Arlington Renegades at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports.

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings started their organized team activities (OTAs). The new additions Marcus Davenport and Byron Murphy were on the field, just like 2022 first-round pick Lewis Cine.

There weren’t any huge storylines — just fans who are interested in helmet changes learned that Kirk Cousins and Christian Darrisaw wear new ones. On Tuesday, however, there was a new guy on the field.

Vikings Get Lucky. That’s His Name.

The Minnesota Vikings released their pass rusher Kenny Willekes to sign WR Lucky Jackson who starred in the XFL.

But first things first, Willekes was a draft pick in 2020 and joined the team as a seventh-rounder. The defender missed the 2020 and 2022 campaigns on injury reserve and spent most of 2021 on the practice squad but appeared in six games. His time in Minnesota is over. It was an injury-plagued time.

Vikings Get Lucky, Sign Dynamic XFL Receiver
Sep 14, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers wide receiver Lucky Jackson (11) drops a touchdown pass in front of coverage from Louisville Cardinals defensive back Russ Yeast (3) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

He made room for a new signee. Jackson made some noise in the XFL, a league that wants to be a developmental league for the NFL. Young players who don’t make the initial jump and the NFL teams will benefit.

Jackson played for the DC Defenders, who reached the XFL Championship game but lost to the Arlington Renegades. The new Vikings wideout was a big reason for the successful season. He ranked fifth in receiving yards with 573 and touchdowns with 5. His ten receptions of 20 or more yards rank him at the top of the league.

Sep 2, 2017; Bowling Green, KY, United States; WKU Hilltoppers wide receiver Lucky Jackson (11) makes a catch for a touchdown during the game between Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The ability to create explosive plays is why he is intriguing. He ran an unofficial 40-yard dash of 4.36 seconds at his pro day in 2020. Jackson starred for the University of Western Kentucky and recorded 2,680 yards and 13 scores during his tenure. 1,133 yards came in his final season in 2019. The receiver went undrafted.

Jackson’s road to the 53-man roster won’t be an easy one. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and K.J. Osborn have a save roster spot. Jalen Nailor, a 2022 draft pick and a punt returner, either last year’s guy Jalen Reagor or signing Brandon Powell, will also most likely be on the team.

Other contenders for a roster spot are Trishton Jackson, Thayer Thomas, Malik Knowles, Cephus Johnson, and Blake Proehl. The Vikings started the 2022 campaign with only five wide receivers on the roster. Expect to see a heavy dose of Jackson in the preseason.

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