Another Player from the Vikings 2021 Draft Class Hits Waivers

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (15) celebrates his touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Following their trade to acquire Jalen Reagor from the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings have made another shocking release by waiving WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette. This makes seven players from the 2021 draft class that have been cut by the Vikings new regime:

  • QB Kellen Mond
  • LB Chazz Surratt
  • G Wyatt Davis
  • TE Zach Davidson
  • WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  • EDGE Janarius Robinson
  • DL Jaylen Twyman

Smith-Marsette was a fifth-round pick in the Vikings 2021 draft class. He also seemed to be on the fast track towards the WR4 job in 2022. Durin his rookie season, the former Iowa Hawkeye was targeted just six times, but he hauled five of them in for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Three of these catches came in the season finale; a game that he started.

This release comes as a surprise for a few reasons. Firstly, the Vikings could have easily fit Reagor in their receiver room without getting rid of one. It would have been just as possible to cut a player like Luiji Vilain or Vederian Lowe. Secondly, if you truly only want to keep five receivers, Jalen Nailor is far less proven to this point than ISM.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, why couldn’t the Vikings trade him? This feels very similar to the waiving of Armon Watts where Minnesota dumped a very talented player on a rookie contract without exploring their options.

The NFC is full of teams with a glaring lack of receiving talent. Looking at the Vikings own division, there’s an argument to be made that Smith-Marsette would at least be a prominent receiver for the Detroit Lions, and he may even be a starter on the Chicago Bears. It would be very surprising to find out that Smith-Marsette couldn’t have brought back some sort of draft capital in a trade.

It will be even more shocking if Smith-Marsette somehow clears waivers. I suspect he will be picked up by one of the NFC North teams listed above, with the Bears being the most likely option. Chicago already took advantage of a talented Viking on the waiver wire by claiming Watts today. Perhaps they’ll land another former Viking very soon.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken