The Minnesota Vikings had one of the smaller classes of the 2023 NFL Draft, as they drafted just six players over the course of three days. Were there picks that stood out above the others?
Well, behind the great E$PN paywall, draft expert Todd McShay has revealed his best value pick for all 32 NFL teams, and you don’t have to look very far to find the Vikings’ selection. It was the first player they chose on draft weekend, wide receiver Jordan Addison out of Southern Cal.
Here’s what McShay had to say about the pick:
K.J. Osborn is the only returning receiver not named Justin Jefferson who cracked 180 receiving yards last season, and he had only 650. It’s great when you have an elite, top-of-the-league pass-catcher, but it can’t be all you have. Minnesota had to address the WR2 spot after Adam Thielen signed in Carolina in free agency, and it was lucky to get one at the tail end of a four-WR run in Round 1.
At 5-foot-11 and 173 pounds, Addison is a small slot receiver who knows how to get separation, hits top speed in a flash and then displays the instincts necessary to create after the catch. He caught 59 balls for 875 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but he was downright dominant the year prior, catching 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 TDs while at Pitt.
I’ll also call out getting UAB’s DeWayne McBride in Round 7. The late flier on my No. 141 prospect could pay off as running back depth if the Vikings decide to release Dalvin Cook to save some cap space.
Now, granted, since last season’s trade it’s become obvious that T.J. Hockenson is the #2 option in the Vikings’ pass offense. . .at least for now. But for most of the last decade the Vikings have had some pretty dynamic receiving duos in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs and Thielen and Justin Jefferson after the Diggs trade.
As great as Hockenson has been. . .and this Vikings’ draft class looks that much better when you figure that Hockenson was, essentially, their second-round pick. . .the Vikings need another option to take heat off of Jefferson. They clearly believe that they’ve found that in Addison, especially if you believe the words of coach Kevin O’Connell.
Got us a Day 1 starter.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 28, 2023
: @Espn_Jordan pic.twitter.com/RTRLnMUvKz
“This guy’s a Day 1 starter.” I’m sure that K.J. Osborn might not have been terribly thrilled to hear that, but if he wants to keep it from coming true he’s going to have a whole Training Camp in August to prove that he deserves the spot.
I like K.J. Osborn a lot and I know that he’s done a lot of great things over the past couple of seasons, but it’s hard not to view Addison as an upgrade at the wide receiver position for the Vikings. We’ll have to see how things shake out throughout the offseason and preseason, but it would be a shock if Addison didn’t put up big numbers in this offense in 2023.