The Minnesota Vikings fielded one of the more effective offences during the 2020 season. Minnesota ranked fourth in total yards in 2020 and have built an offence capable of both regular and post season success. With Kirk Cousins under center, Dalvin Cook in the back field, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson as wide receiver alongside Irv Smith Jr at tight end, the Vikings have created an enigmatic offensive core. However, Minnesota still may have a hole at WR3. Whether it is addressed via the current roster or in the draft- the Minnesota Vikings WR3 position could be up for grabs.
Looking At the Minnesota Vikings WR3 Options
The first option for Minnesota is a man already on the roster – Chad Beebe. After signing for the Vikings as an undrafted free agent, Beebe has spent three seasons on the roster. After featuring in only three games during his first two seasons, the former UDFA played an increased role during the 2020 campaign in 14 regular season games. Beebe played 314 offensive snaps in 2020 as well as 45 on special teams.
After battling injuries in his first two seasons, Beebe had his chance in 2020, having his most productive year as a Viking. His most memorable performance was his ‘zero to hero’ game against the Carolina Panthers. After muffing a punt in the fourth quarter, Beebe returned to score the game winning touchdown on the Vikings final drive. Beside his week 12 heroics, the versatile wide out added his second touchdown of the year against the Detroit Lions in week 17.
Beebe is a versatile receiver who can feature on both special teams and in the slot for Minnesota. He has proven to be an asset for Minnesota who can move the chains- securing 12 first downs this past season. His didn’t go unnoticed and the Vikings signed Chad Beebe to a one-year extension during the off-season. So, If Beebe avoids injury, the Vikings may elevate the Northern Illinois standout to WR3.
Another in-house option for the Minnesota Vikings is Olabisi Johnson. Drafted in the seventh round during the 2019 draft, Johnson has featured in every game since making the roster. Unlike Beebe, Johnson’s starts decreased during the 2020 season after being the starter through the first two weeks. Although, the meteoric rise of Justin Jefferson pushed Johnson further down the wide receiver pecking order in Minneapolis.
Coming out of Colorado State in 2019, Johnson had an impressive first season in the NFL which led to him becoming a starter for the early stages of 2020. During his inaugural season he registered three touchdowns in six starts for Minnesota. After trading Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills, it was believed Johnson could step up and play opposite Adam Thielen. Although this never materialized, Johnson could play an important role on the depth chart with consistent play in 2021.
Addressing WR3 in the Draft
The Minnesota Vikings hold the 14th pick in the upcoming NFL draft. With a run on quarterbacks in the top 10 extremely likely, Minnesota could be in a position to draft an elite receiver. If Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle or Ja’Marr Chase slide on draft night Vikings management may be tempted to add to an already stacked offense. However, the Vikings have more obvious needs in both trenches.
The Vikings are without a second-rounder but do possess two third-rounders and four fourth-round picks. With the 2021 draft class boasting numerous impressive receivers, Minnesota should look to the latter rounds to add wide receiver depth.
A receiver like Tutu Atwell within these rounds could add a new dimension to the Klint Kubiak offense. Effective after the catch and electric speed makes Atwell an intriguing prospect. Amari Rodgers from Clemson could help the Vikings at wide receiver but also solve the 2020 special team woes. Tylan Wallace may make it to the Vikings if teams are worried about injury concerns. With dynamic playmaking ability and his depth of routes, Wallace could be a steal for Minnesota.
In a talented class, the 2021 draft has a plethora of options for the Minnesota Vikings. With an addition on draft night or improved play by receivers on the 2020 depth chart, the Vikings could possess one of the deepest offences in the NFL.
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