Vikings WR3 for 2024 Totally Up in the Air

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor (83) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings’ second-largest mystery on offense — after the eventual QB1 nominee — is the identity of its WR3 for 2024.

Vikings WR3 for 2024 Totally Up in the Air

K.J. Osborn departed for the New England Patriots two months ago, and Minnesota has not signed a new veteran free-agent wide receiver since, nor did the club draft one in April.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

So, for the WR3, it’s a three-way race between Jalen Nailor, Brandon Powell, and Trent Sherfield. And depending on the source, each man has a shot at grabbing the job. In fact, as recently as this week, a case has been made for the combatants respectively by reputable sources.

These are the cases.

Jalen Nailor

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Who Made the Case: Alec Lewis, The Athletic

What They Said: “With Jefferson absent, Nailor, Jordan Addison and Brandon Powell saw the majority of the snaps with the No. 1 unit. Nailor remains an intriguing option if he can stay healthy; a lower-leg injury ended his training camp early last year, and a concussion sidelined him for the final five weeks of the season.”

Lewis also stated that Nailor made a nifty play at Vikings organized team activities (OTAs) this week.

Nailor showed some oomph down the stretch of his rookie season in 2022 but failed to catch on last year despite playing time opportunities after Justin Jefferson missed time with a hamstring injury. Year No. 3 is ginormous for Nailor, so it works out well that Minnesota has a WR3 opening.

Brandon Powell

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Who Made the Case: Kevin Seifert, ESPN

What They Said: Seifert tabbed Powell as the Vikings player who could surprise the most in 2024: “Wide receiver Brandon Powell: During the O’Connell era, the Vikings’ base offense has been 11 personnel, which generally means three receivers. So unless O’Connell is going to dramatically change that approach in his third season, there is a significant need for a third player to complement Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison in the receiving corps.”

Powell is also the franchise’s punt returner.

Seifert added, “Powell filled that role well last season when Jefferson missed time with a hamstring injury, and he has a strong chance to earn a more permanent role there in 2024.”

Trent Sherfield

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Who Made the Case:, Gregg Rosenthal

What They Said: Rosenthal projected Minnesota’s offensive starters and plopped Sherfield at the WR3 spot on his depth chart. He wrote about the WR group on the whole, “Keep an eye on Justin Jefferson’s contract talks, which could drag into the summer. Jordan Addison can be one of the best No. 2 receivers in football. I’m less concerned about the No. 3 spot (Brandon Powell is also an option), because T.J. Hockenson essentially will serve in that role once he’s back from a torn ACL.”

Sherfield is the newcomer of the three and can thus be classified as a wildcard in the discussion.

If Vikings Territory had to pick a fighter in this battle as of May, at least per a prediction, Powell would be the choice.

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).

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