Is Brandon Powell Enough for Minnesota?

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When the Minnesota Vikings really dig into their offseason plans, they will need to decide how to fill out the wide receiver room. K.J. Osborn is set to be a free agent and should be on his way out. Does that mean Brandon Powell is enough to step in?

Is Brandon Powell Enough for Minnesota?

Over the past four seasons, K.J. Osborn has factored into the Vikings’ plans with varying degrees of success. He ran alongside Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen but never elevated himself to be the guy and rarely flashed when given an additional run. The third wide receiver for an NFL team isn’t necessary to be a superstar, but the higher the ceiling, the better the offense clicks.

Brandon Powell Enough
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In 2022, when the Vikings struggled to give quarterback Kirk Cousins multiple pass-catching options, it largely reflected a lack of ability in the receiver room. Sure, Irv Smith Jr. went down with yet another injury, but Jefferson was head and shoulders above an aging Thielen, and Osborn did little to separate himself.

The organization has spent draft picks on different middle-round players while also bringing in castoffs from elsewhere. Osborn did hold off former first-round pick Jalen Reagor, but that isn’t exactly a high bar to clear. In limited run this season, former Los Angeles Rams wideout Brandon Powell looked like he may be ready for the next step.

Initially acquired with the familiarity built through a previous relationship with head coach Kevin O’Connell, Powell was getting his feet wet in a new set of circumstances. The 28-year-old was now on his fourth team but got into all 17 games for the second straight season. Working primarily on special teams, Powell had highlights when given opportunities by Minnesota.

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In the passing game, the former Rams wideout was targeted a career-high 44 times. That was obviously aided by lead wideout Justin Jefferson missing substantial time, but he turned the opportunity into a career-best 29 receptions. His 324 yards were more than double what he has ever contributed in a single season, and he also found the end zone.

When operating on quick-hitting routes, Powell showed off his skillset. A quick and shifty player, he immediately got separation and had impact in the screen game. He also generated 18 first downs for the Vikings. The role would expand should he move up the depth chart, but his usage style could remain similar.

Next season, the Vikings will have their top two wideout options locked in between Jefferson and Jordan Addison. Beyond that, though, they’ll need to decide if prioritizing another splash is a must. T.J. Hockenson likely won’t be available to start the year, and that reality won’t be beneficial for whoever is under center. Maybe that necessitates another move or gives Powell an open lane to show his stuff.

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As an unrestricted free agent, there’s definitely no guarantee that the Vikings bring Powell back, but it stands to reason that both sides could have a vested interest in doing so. He made just over $1.2 million last season, and his paycheck shouldn’t come in much higher than that for 2024.

Minnesota can ask itself whether Brandon Powell is enough or whether they need to look elsewhere in the year ahead.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.