The Vikings Need a WR3. These Are the Options.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis (13) scored on this 4-yard pass. Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle. © Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings have a handful of roster needs in the 2024 offseason, including quarterback, outside linebacker, defensive tackle — and perhaps running back and cornerback.

The Vikings Need a WR3. These Are the Options.

Quietly, the club will need a WR3, either as a familiar name on the 2023 roster, free agency, or the 2024 NFL Draft.

Called On for Pro
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. McCardell joined the Vikings in 2021 as wide receivers coach and is credited with helping to develop Justin Jefferson and others.

Free agency kicks off in four weeks, and the NFL draft is 72 days away. Among many positions, Vikings fans should have a WR3 verdict by the end of April.

So, these are the Vikings’ options at WR3.

The In-House Route

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The Vikings employed K.J. Osborn as WR3 in 2023 and, in fact, for the previous three seasons. But Osborn is scheduled to hit free agency in March.

Nevertheless, these are the in-house options for WR3:

  • Brandon Powell
  • Jalen Nailor
  • K.J. Osborn

It is unclear if Powell would truly blossom as the designated WR3 in 2024, but he showed flashes of promise repeatedly last season. Meanwhile, Nailor had an absolutely golden opportunity to show off his skillset when Justin Jefferson was hurt for seven games, but Nailor, too, was injured for much of 2023.

If Minnesota desires a homegrown remedy, betting money likely favors Powell or Nailor.

Free Agency

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These players’ pricetags will vary, but this is the WR3 list from free agency:

  • Odell Beckham
  • Kendrick Bourne
  • Tyler Boyd
  • Marquise Brown
  • Noah Brown
  • DJ Chark
  • Gabe Davis
  • Darnell Mooney
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Curtis Samuel
  • Rashid Shaheed
  • Michael Thomas

The length of this list may explain why Vikings fans aren’t screaming to high heavens about WR3 as an offseason necessity: one should be easy to procure.

Perhaps the most likely outcome is a wide receiver with a “B” last name. Beckham, Bourne, Boyd, and Brown x2.

Gabe Davis, who played for the Bills in the last four seasons, is also an intriguing option.

A Rookie

Vikings Need a WR3
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The Vikings probably won’t spend their 1st-Round pick on a wide receiver. Let’s just get that out of the way. The club employs Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison at the position, meaning the big spending and priority is already in the bag.

However, plenty of options are available if the Vikings wish to spend a 2nd-Rounder or below on the WR3 for 2024. Too, Minnesota could trade down from its 11th pick — that would irritate some fans, rest assured — and stockpile draft assets as it has enjoyed in years past.

If the Vikings use the draft for a WR3 candidate, these are the options as of mid-February:

  • Jermaine Burton (Alabama)
  • Ladd McConkey (Georgia)
  • Xavier Legette (South Carolina)
  • Ricky Pearsall (Florida)
  • Johnny Wilson (Florida State)
  • Roman Wilson (Michigan)
  • Xavier Worthy (Texas)

Most, if not all, of those names, will be on the board for Minnesota at or below its 42nd overall pick in Round 2.

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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