Vikings Rookie Voted a Top 10er
In a draft where the Minnesota Vikings could’ve been persuaded to draft a defensive player, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stuck to his guns and chose Jordan Addison from USC.
That occurred nine months ago, and the Vikings profited from the decision, especially when WR1 Justin Jefferson was injured for seven games in 2023.
Vikings Rookie Voted a Top 10er
Addison took the NFL by storm, always creating big plays with Kirk Cousins and Nick Mullens under center, a fantastic opening salvo for the 21-year-old.
And Addison’s grand entrance was so commendable that he fetched placement on ESPN’s Top 10 Rookies of 2023 list this week. The Vikings playmaker checked in at No. 8, tied with running back Bijan Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons.
ESPN’s staff wrote about Addison’s 2023 performance, “With Justin Jefferson’s injury, Addison stepped into a big role as a rookie and was more than ready for the moment. He was 89 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season and recorded 10 touchdowns. With the Vikings’ offensive woes and quarterback carousel after Kirk Cousins was injured, Addison didn’t put up big numbers consistently, but he had a couple of breakout games with two 100-yard performances, including one in a Week 7 win against the 49ers.”
At times, Addison was a savior for the Vikings, fostering big plays that resulted in touchdowns. During Jefferson’s four-year career to date, he’s specialized in receiving yards at a breakneck pace, and Addison seems to be morphing into “the touchdown guy,” at least per his rookie output.
“While Addison showed he could have an impact regardless of the quarterback, a big part of his outlook hinges on who will be throwing the ball for Minnesota in 2024, and how that quarterback will distribute touches between Addison, Jefferson and tight end T.J. Hockenson,” ESPN’s Brooke Pryor added about Addison’s trajectory for the future.
Addison will be attached to the Vikings’ roster for the next four seasons, which should accompany an upcoming Jefferson contract extension. Assuming no tomfoolery arises, Minnesota will employ two of the NFL’s best wideouts for at least the next four seasons, which just so happens to be a remarkable recipe for a young Vikings quarterback when that time arrives.
The fourth receiver off the board during last year’s draft, Addison carried himself with a chip on his shoulder all season, translating tremendously to Minnesota’s offense. Last April, Jaxon Smith-Ngjiba (Seattle Seahawks), Quentin Johnston (Los Angeles Chargers), and Zay Flowers (Baltimore Ravens) were chosen before Addison, and he vowed to remember as fuel for his arrival.
The plan worked — to the tune of the only 1st-Round wide receiver recognized by ESPN in its Top 10.
Addison will turn 22 in 10 days.
C.J. Stroud (Houston Texans) and Puka Nacua (Los Angeles Rams) headlined the ESPN list.
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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).