Jordan Addison Calls Vikings ‘Scary’ With Award-Winning Quarterback

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison envisioned what it would look like if the team made pre-NFL Draft rumors come true and trade up to snag USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

“I don’t even gotta say too much. I think people got an idea with Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson,” Addison told “The Viking Age” podcast on Thursday after host Adam Patrick floated the idea. “It’d be scary.”

Addison, who played with Williams at USC knows what he’s talking about. In 2022, Addison tallied 59 catches for 875 yards and 8 TDs as Williams won the Heisman Trophy amid his monster season of 4,537 yards and 45 TDs versus 5 interceptions.

Jordan Addison Talks Caleb Williams

Jordan Addison
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Williams remained the top prospect in the draft throughout 2023 despite 3,633 yards and 30 TDs versus 5 interceptions in a regression from his Heisman season. However, the Trojans’ defensive struggles (34.4 points per game allowed) played a role in the demands upon Williams and the offense.

If the Vikings leapt from No. 11 in the draft to No. 1, it would come at a high cost, similar to Fox Sports 1 host Colin Cowherd’s trade proposal of Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson to the New England Patriots for the No. 3 pick.

That instantly spoils Addison’s idea of Jefferson catching passes from Williams on the U.S. Bank Stadium turf because it will likely take trading a star such as Jefferson to go even higher than No. 3. Furthermore, the Vikings would have to trade with the Chicago Bears for that No. 1 spot, and major trades seldom happen within a division.

The Bears would likely not want to game plan for Williams twice a season just as much Addison doesn’t want to see Jefferson leave the TCO Performance Center next fall. Addison said as much when it came to Jefferson because the Vikings got a taste of life without the superstar receiver amid injury last fall.

“Huge difference,” Addison said about playing without Jefferson.

Vikings Had Mixed Results with J.J. Gone

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings managed to go 5-2 without Jefferson, but three of those wins and none of the losses occurred before quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ Achilles injury. After Cousins, the Vikings made due without Jefferson for two games amid quarterback Josh Dobbs‘ brief rise before his time with the Vikings went thud with a 4-interception game against the Bears.

“When he on the field, half of the defense is on his side,” Addison said about Jefferson. “When he not on the field they just […] play us straight up. So him being out make a big difference for sure.”

That difference could show up next fall if the Vikings found a way to trade with the Bears, and Williams would be hard-pressed to make the offense as “scary” as Addison envisioned with Patrick. Addison would likely become the team’s No. 1 receiver, he would have to deal with the extra pressure from opposing secondaries.

Minnesota would need to pull another trade or sign a free agent in order to compensate for Jefferson. The Vikings only have $24.6 million in salary cap space, and any of the top three receivers hitting free agency will cost in the upper 20s annually.

Addison on a Potential Cousins Return

Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

With Williams, the Vikings wouldn’t need to re-sign Cousins, who is projected to command $39.4 million annually per Spotrac. However, the Vikings could take a significant step back for a year with a rookie because Cousins, as a seasoned veteran, had a career-year going before his injury.

“I just feel like he underrated to me,” Addison said of Cousins. “He always got the numbers, he a very accurate quarterback, he does great under pressure. Like, we need Kirk back we need Kirk back.”

To Addison’s point, continuity wins in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs have that going with superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes in a fourth Super Bowl in five years this Sunday under head coach Andy Reid.

While Minnesota didn’t make the playoffs in 2023, what the Vikings could have accomplished amid Cousins’ performance was left to the imagination. Williams in a Vikings uniform could also be left to Addison’s imagination after the draft in April.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference and Sports Reference CFB.