Is a Brandon Powell Breakout Coming?

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The Minnesota Vikings are bringing back Brandon Powell to be their third wide receiver in 2024, and with a second year in Kevin O’Connell’s system, the veteran may be eyeing his best season yet. After K.J. Osborn failed to make significant strides over the years, it can now be Powell who produces alongside an otherwise star tandem.

Is a Brandon Powell Breakout Coming?

The upcoming season will be Brandon Powell’s sixth in the NFL. After getting an expanded run with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022, he was elevated to new heights last year with the Vikings. It obviously doesn’t hurt that he had a level of familiarity with Kevin O’Connell, but the Minnesota wide receiver room took a substantial hit when Justin Jefferson was shelved for multiple weeks.

Brandon Powell
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A year ago, K.J. Osborn remained in the fold for Minnesota, but it was Powell who stepped up in a big way. His 324 receiving yards more than doubled his previous career-high, and it was evident that he provided a reliable option for whichever quarterback was under center. Obviously, his opportunity was influenced out of necessity, but being brought back and having additional open targets again is a reality he should expect.

Kirk Cousins is no longer the starting quarterback in Minnesota, and with Sam Darnold or a rookie under center, the quality should be expected to dip. That could have a security blanket like a slot option seeing more targets, though, and someone must carry the load while starting tight end T.J. Hockenson rehabs from his knee injury. This seems to open the door for Powell, and watching him step through it appears to be a good bet.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
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The Vikings employ one of the best wide receiver tandems across the entire sport in Jefferson and Jordan Addison. That pair should continue to get theirs, and combining for more than 3,000 yards in the upcoming season is a fair bet to make.

That still leaves Powell an opportunity to add another threat, and surpassing 600 yards would represent a higher level of production than Osborn ever possessed from the role.

Brandon Powell Enough
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Expecting Minnesota’s offense to look the same with Cousins not in the picture is probably not a great bet, but giving whatever quarterback is under center such strong pass-catching weapons is a pretty good way to ensure the transition runs smoothly. Powell definitely felt a level of comfort in Minnesota deciding to return, and the partnership should be fruitful for everyone involved.

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.