The battle for the third wide receiver spot is going to be one of the more entertaining and intriguing battles of this year’s Training Camp for the Minnesota Vikings. While there have been a couple of names that have come out in some of the reports from OTAs and minicamps thus far, earlier this week one of the Vikings’ new coaches singled out one particular player that’s going to be fighting for that job.
Gary Kubiak, the Vikings’ new offensive assistant, was singing the praises of second-year player Chad Beebe as this offseason’s workouts came to a close earlier this week.
“He has had probably as good an offseason as any player that I know on our side of the ball,” assistant head coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s got a chance to be a really good player for us. It gives us flexibility to bounce around personnel-wise.”
At 5’10” and about 180 pounds, it would appear that Beebe’s role would be almost exclusively as a slot receiver in the Vikings’ offense. We know that both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are proficient from the slot as well, but they’ve also both shown that they can hold their own on the outside. Beebe could present a quick, shifty underneath option that could cause some matchup problems when the Vikings decide to go to three receiver sets.
Beebe got an opportunity to be in the spotlight last season, as he was called up from the practice squad and caught three passes in his first NFL game. After that, however, he struggled with a hamstring injury and caught just one pass over the course of the rest of the season. Beebe is also considered one of the early favorites to replace Marcus Sherels as the team’s primary punt returner, so the team appears to be expecting a lot of big things from him in his second year.
I’m not sure how much time the third receiver for the Vikings is going to see in 2019. The hiring of Kubiak, the ascension of Kevin Stefanski, and the draft selection of Irv Smith Jr. in the second round certainly point to the Vikings using two tight ends with a greater frequency than three wide receivers. However, the competition for those snaps is going to be pretty fierce, and it looks like Chad Beebe is going to be one of the first guys to get the opportunity to take that role.