The Minnesota Vikings depth chart is loaded with talent at the wide receiver position; let’s look at how they could be taking the field come September.
The Vikings, barring injury, will undoubtedly be running out the same three starting wide receivers from last season. One of the very best groups in the league.
Justin Jefferson has solidified himself as a top wide receiver on this team and a top wide receiver in the NFL. He has an NFL record 3,016 yards over his first two seasons and is looking to add more to that total this coming season.
Adam Thielen is a savvy veteran who has caught a whopping 24 touchdowns in his last 28 games. Thielen, however, is getting up there in age and hasn’t played an entire season since 2018, when he caught 113 passes for 1373 yards.
K.J. Osborn rounds out the Vikings’ starting wide receiver core. He made enormous strides during his sophomore campaign this past season and should be expected to once again play an essential role in this revamped Vikings offense.
The fight to earn a backup role in this Vikings wide receiver group will certainly be played out during training camp next month.
Players like Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Albert Wilson, Bisi Johnson, and Jalen Nailor seem to be early frontrunners to earn a roster spot.
Smith-Marsette was the only player out of that group that caught a ball for the Vikings this past year. He finished last season strong with an 103-yard game during the Vikings’ Week 17 win over the Bears. He is currently injured and could not participate in OTA’s; however, he still should be a favorite to make the roster.
Albert Wilson, who the Vikings signed this offseason, should also earn himself a spot on the final 53-man roster. He adds an element of speed that the Vikings lack and will likely be used as a field stretcher who doesn’t get very many targets but plays an important role.
Bisi Johnson, who the Vikings drafted in 2019, missed the entirety of last season with an ACL tear he suffered during training camp. Now he will have to fight to prove to the new coaching regime that he deserves a spot on the roster. He has shown flashes in the past; however, his injury may spell the end of his tenure as a Viking.
Last but not least, Jalen Nailor, the Michigan St. product. Nailor was taken in the 6th round of this year’s draft by the Vikings but will not just simply be handed a spot on the roster because of the draft capital the team used on him. Nailor was reportedly seen taking reps as a punt returner during OTA’s, which may just be his ticket to making the team.
The Case for Dan Chisena:
Dan Chisena gets his own section because he is a unique player who deserves his own subheading. Why is he unique? He will likely never log a reception in the NFL yet is listed as a wide receiver.
Chisena has served as the Vikings’ gunner for the past two seasons. Because of his size and speed, he is the perfect prototype for the role that he serves and has garnered some recognition.
If Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are willing to sacrifice a roster spot for special teams’ glory, then Chisena is the easy pick.
Final Roster Projection:
WR1 – Justin Jefferson
WR2 – Adam Thielen
WR3 – K.J. Osborn
WR4 – Albert Wilson
WR5 – Ihmir-Smith Marsette
WR6 – Jalen Nailor
Practice Squad: Trishton Jackson and Dan Chisena
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