The Vikings Will Meet with a Top WR Draft Prospect

Everything You Need to Know About New Vikings WR Jordan Addison
Nov 19, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) celebrates his touchdown scored againt the UCLA Bruins during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, one of the biggest draft needs for the Minnesota Vikings appears to be at wide receiver. It seems the Vikings agree as they have set up a meeting with one of the top WR draft prospects, USC’s Jordan Addison. The meeting was first reported by Aaron Wilson.

Top WR Draft Prospect
Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) runs away from Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) for a first down in the first half at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Addison is largely considered a first-round receiver in this year’s draft, and he has been mocked to the Minnesota Vikings a number of times throughout the offseason. The receiver prospect played two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh before transferring to USC for the 2022 campaign. In that sole season with the Trojans, he recorded 59 receptions for 875 yards and 8 touchdowns in 11 games. In all, Addison boasted 219 receptions, 3134 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns over his three-year collegiate career.

The prospect enters draft season as one of the smoother route-runners in this class, with an ability to play on the boundary or step into the slot. However, the main concern surrounding Addison is his size. At the NFL scouting combine, he measured in at just 5’11” and 173 pounds. This could cause some trouble against the larger cornerbacks at the NFL level.

Oct 15, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against the Utah Utes in the second half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t entirely unprecedented for receivers of Addison’s size to find success at the NFL level, though. Devonta Smith came into the NFL at 6’0 and 166 pounds back in 2021, and in his first two NFL seasons, he’s totaled 159 receptions, 2112 yards, and 12 TDs.

Back in January, I wrote a draft profile as part of our Vikings Draft Thermometer series covering Addison’s strengths and weaknesses and predicted that he would be taken in the middle of the first round, likely before Minnesota selects at 23, considering how valued top receivers are in the draft. Check out some of the strengths highlighted in that profile:

“The great thing about Addison is that he can get himself involved in a number of ways. He primarily played as a slot receiver, but he can be used as a ball carrier in unique run schemes and is an adept punt returner as well (averaged 15.4 yards per return in 2021 with Pitt)… he can run any route, and he is a masterful technician with his movement. His speed and acceleration also make him a great deep ball threat.”

Vikings Draft Thermometer: WR Jordan Addison
Sep 24, 2022; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) makes a catch for a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Reser Stadium. The touchdown was the game winner as Trojans defeated Beavers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings were to select Addison in the first-round of this month’s draft, he would be an excellent complement to Justin Jefferson. We also shouldn’t overlook that little tidbit about his punt return ability. The Vikings don’t have a true solution to that area of their game right now, and with Addison’s skillset there, he could take over that role.

Overall, it still seems likely that a team will snag Addison early on in the 2023 NFL Draft, but if he does find his way down to the Vikings at No. 23, it makes a lot of sense for Minnesota to snatch him up before another team can.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.