The Minnesota Vikings kicked off their 2023 NFL Draft by selecting Southern Cal wide receiver Jordan Addison in Thursday’s first round. While anyone that’s followed this site for any length of time knows how we feel about the futility of grading a draft before anyone selected has even taken the field, there are lots of entities out there that do it anyway. So, in the interest of making things easier for our readers, we’re rounding up some of those grades and putting them all in one convenient place.
With that, here are the grades and commentary that a lot of Really Smart Football People™ had about the Addison selection.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: A grade
Addison was too strong a value for the Vikings to pass up. He would have been picked earlier if not for his slight build, average top-end speed for his size and occasional drops. Addison is such a tough player, though. He will be a great complement for Justin Jefferson working from the slot.
Pro Football Focus: “Good” grade
The Vikings stick at Pick 23 and come away with a talented wide receiver to pair with Justin Jefferson. Addison won the Biletnikoff Award with Pittsburgh in 2021 before transferring to USC, and he finished the past two seasons with 25 touchdowns from 159 receptions.
Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report: B grade
Thus, Addison gives Minnesota a legitimate threat to complement Jefferson. Much like when the 2020 first-round pick entered the league, the incoming rookie is projected as a slot receiver. Jefferson grew into a dominant receiver from any alignment. Addison is smaller, but he simply knows how to get open.
With Aaron Rodgers now out of the NFC North, the division is there for the Vikings to take yet again. Jefferson and Addison can maximize what could be Kirk Cousins’ final season with the organization.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: A+ grade
The Vikings took full advantage of Addison’s stock slipping to this part of the first round as a slot-forward replacement for Adam Thielen. Addison is an absolute route-running technician with ideal quickness and toughness for the slot. He will benefit nicely from the coverage attention Justin Jefferson gets all over the field.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: A grade
He is my favorite receiver in this class. He will be a perfect complement to Justin Jefferson, He is a great route runner. Needs to get a little bigger since he weighs 175 pounds, but that will happen.
Scott Dochterman, The Athletic: C grade
He’s the only three-year receiver in the draft with more than 3,000 career receiving yards. Most of his targets — 57.8 percent, according to Brugler — came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Addison played more outside snaps in 2022 but was primarily a slot receiver over his career.
The Vikings’ offense gets more explosive with this move, but it comes at the risk of exposing an already challenged defense.
Joseph Acosta, SB Nation: A grade
I love Jordan Addison. Despite his size and frame, he just knows how to get open. He has a nice understanding of how to create space and how to work blind spots against opposing defenders. In Minnesota, he won’t face as much attention because of some guy named Justin Jefferson, but he’s a very nice complement to Jefferson and will make that offense more efficient.
SI.com: C grade
The run on receivers continued in Minnesota, with the Vikings taking Addison to play opposite Justin Jefferson. While the player is terrific, Minnesota had one of the league’s worst defenses in 2022 and still has ample holes. There were terrific options in edge rusher Nolan Smith and corner Deonte Banks as well. Good player, strange pick.
Charles McDonald, Yahoo! Sports: B+ grade
Addison is the ideal No. 2 wide receiver prospect, and that’s exactly what he’s going to be in the NFL playing next to Justin Jefferson. In an offense that projects to throw the ball a lot, especially if the Vikings trade Dalvin Cook, Addison can be a star.
Ben Rolfe, Pro Football Network: B grade
Addison was the fourth receiver off the board, and his value lines up with his tape. He’s lighter than preferred in the 170-pound range, but Addison’s an undeniably dynamic athlete with the lateral twitch and change of direction to support his profile both as a separator and a RAC threat. In 2021, particularly, he showcased his ability to win above the rim and rise vertically for passes.
Addison puts extra pressure on defenses with his combined vertical and lateral appeal, and in turn, takes pressure off Jefferson. That in and of itself is a good thing. That said, the Vikings had Will Levis available, and Kirk Cousins is entering a contract year. That might’ve been an opportunity to capitalize on, but maximizing the window with Cousins makes sense.
USA Today: B+ grade
Getting Addison in the late first round is a wonderful value for the Vikings. Formerly as USC’s most productive receiver, the go-to man for Caleb Williams, Addison largely had his way with most of the Pacific Coast teams. He’s only available here because of a disappointing 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine and a slight redemption at a dreary, wet USC Pro Day.
Now, Addison gets to be the speedster complement to Justin Jefferson, pro football’s top boundary weapon. I wouldn’t be sleeping well tonight if I was a cornerback in the NFC North.
Overall, the early grades for the Addison pick seem to be positive. Even the grades that aren’t terribly high seem to acknowledge that Addison is a solid player but that the Vikings probably could have gone a different direction.
We’ve already asked you what you think of the Addison selection, and now you can compare your thoughts to some of the Really Smart Football People™ and their thoughts.