Chad Beebe Considered Vikings “Best Kept Secret”

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Chad Beebe (12) after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will host a competition for the WR3 slot this summer, entailing a decision between pass-catchers Olabisi Johnson, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Chad Beebe. And that’s if the organization makes no impactful free-agent signings at wide receiver after June 1st. The Vikings will tout roughly $15 million to use on unsigned players in one week.

The working theory is that general manager Rick Spielman will explore adding Dede Westbrook to the team, reuniting the former Jacksonville Jaguars wideout with current Minnesota wide receiver coach, Keenan McCardell. Westbrook entered the NFL in 2017, gathering the tutelage of McCardell during his entire professional career. But Westbrook-to-Minnesota is merely a theory as of now.

If Westbrook is not donned in purple clothes by late summer, well, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report considers Chad Beebe the “best-kept secret” on the Vikings entire roster. Yes, that supersedes other players like Smith-Marsette, newly-acquired safety Xavier Woods, and even upstart tight end Irv Smith Jr. So, the Beebe praise is somewhat out of left field. Knox says of Beebe:

The Minnesota Vikings have two standout receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Thielen is a two-time Pro Bowler, while Jefferson was a rookie Pro Bowler last season. Complementary receiver Chad Beebe has a far lower national profile, but he was a valuable member of the Vikings in 2020. He caught 20 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in 14 games. He helped provide a passer rating of 93.9 when targeted. Beebe also returned nine punts and a kickoff while playing 29 percent of the offensive snaps and 10 percent of the special teams opportunities. Minnesota has frequently utilized two-tight end passing formations—Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph each played at least 50 percent of the offensive snaps in 2020—so the third receiver isn’t likely to be prolific. However, Beebe can be a threat when he’s on the field, and with Rudolph gone, he could be utilized more often as the third wideout in 2021.

Beebe, 26, has caught 26 receptions for 310 yards and two touchdowns during his three-year career. An undrafted commodity, Beebe is a fan-favorite due to his family ties — his father was long-time Buffalo Bills wide receiver Don Beebe. For some reason, Vikings fans enjoy bloodline players and “little engine that could” personalities. Beebe, standing 5’9,” fits both criteria. Chad’s father, Don, won a championship with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

Whether Beebe snags the WR3 job is undetermined. He snatched a game-winning and redemptive touchdown catch from Kirk Cousins in a 2020 game versus the Carolina Panthers. Beebe made amends after a would-be deadly fumble earlier on in the Week 12 matchup. And that was probably the biggest moment of his young career.

Some folks theorize Ihmir Smith-Marsette will climb the ranks and be anointed the WR3. He’s a 5th-Round draft pick from the University of Iowa — the same round that the Vikings found Stefon Diggs in the 2015 NFL Draft. But Smith-Marsette actually has to win the job in training camp — which is a tall order.

Beebe registered a 57.4 Pro Football Focus grade in 2020.