Predictions for Vikings WR Group in 2024

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The Minnesota Vikings have some important decisions to make at the WR position. It might be overshadowed by other positions like QB, OLB, and IDL in conversations this offseason, but in a pass-focused offense, the WR depth is important. With free agency and the draft rapidly approaching, I will put forward my predictions for the Vikings’ WR group.

Predictions for Vikings WR Group in 2024

The Vikings have a dynamic duo at the top of the depth chart in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. The pair should lead the Vikings attack for years, along with TJ Hockenson, who is one of the best pass-catching TEs around and is an excellent third option, though signs indicate he may not have recovered from his knee injury by the start of the new season. 

The question marks surround the depth of the position, particularly who will be WR3 with KJ Osborn a free agent. Then, the Vikings must decide what to do with the other two spots on the depth chart. Injuries to Jefferson and Hockenson during the 2023 season highlighted the importance of not just relying on your starters and needing quality depth at the position. First, there is the small matter of a superstar needing a huge contract — which certainly hasn’t gone under the radar.

Justin Jefferson

Jefferson is big news, so while his contract extension remains unsigned, media outlets will enjoy stirring up speculation — and we’ve seen plenty of it.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put to bed the trade rumors circling at the combine. Jefferson will get his extension and be the highest-paid WR in history when he signs. He will also be a cornerstone on which Minnesota builds its future. That said, it won’t be long until the media are stirring things up again if the deal hasn’t been finalized. Minnesota needs to get the deal done as soon as possible.

Trade Theory Goes
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Prediction: Jefferson signs a 4-year, $132 million contract extension.

Free Agency

Starting with decisions on Minnesota’s two pending free agents, Osborn and Brandon Powell — Osborn has done a solid job as the Vikings WR3, averaging 600 yards and five touchdowns a season across three seasons. The chances of him returning to Minnesota will hinge on how much interest there is in his services across the league. If another team is willing to pay him around  $4 million annually, I can’t see the Vikings matching that deal. 

Brandon Powell proved to be a reliable punt returner who stepped up when needed on offense —particularly with the game-winning touchdown catch in Atlanta. He did enough to warrant bringing him back to compete for a role on offense and to remain the punt returner.

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There are options on the free-agent market the Vikings can explore should they wish. Players such as Curtis Samuel, Tyler Boyd, Josh Reynolds, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine may interest them. More expensive players like Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, Calvin Ridley, and Maquize Brown are too pricey for WR3 duties. Boyd and Reynolds are the two players I think would be a good fit. However, I predict the Vikings won’t make a move for any free-agent WR.

Prediction: Osborn signs a 2-year, $8.5 million deal with the Detroit Lions. Powell re-signs on a 1-year, $1.6 million contract.

The Draft

The Vikings need a WR3, and some exciting options could be available in the second round — players like Xavier Worthy, Ladd McConkey, Roman Wilson, and Adonai Mitchell, to name a few. The third round would also be a nice spot to get one; the trouble is Minnesota doesn’t own a third-round pick.

Of course, they could trade up if a player like Xavier Legette, Malachi Corley, or Jacob Cowing appeals to them. I also expect the Vikings to use one of their Day 3 picks to add another WR to the mix, where Luke McCaffrey stands out as an option — and not because he is the brother of star 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey.

vikings wr
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Prediction: Minnesota will trade up into the late third round, select Jacob Cowing, and use a Day 3 pick to draft Luke McCaffrey.

The Final WR Group

  • Justin Jefferson
  • Jordan Addison
  • Jacob Cowing
  • Brandon Powell
  • Luke McCaffrey

Minnesota already has a lot of WRs in the building who will be competing for a roster. Jalen Nailor, N’Keal Harry, Lucky Jackson, Trishton Jackson, Thayer Thomas, Malik Knowles, and Daylen Baldwin will battle it out with the two rookies and Powell for positioning on the depth chart. Nailor offers a speed option, but injuries hampered his expected progress in Year 2 last season. Harry gives the Vikings a “big” receiver with experience. I predict none of them make it, but you can be sure many will find their way to the practice squad.

Cowing is a small slot receiver who creates separation, while McCaffrey has a taller frame and excels on deep routes. McCaffrey also has the potential to compete with Powell for the punt returner job. The pair brings a good mix to the Vikings’ offense that I believe rounds out the Vikings’ WR group nicely.