It’s clear that the Minnesota Vikings’ roster needs work. The interior OL remains uninspiring, and the defensive line was perhaps the worst in the NFL. The issues go beyond the trenches, though. One area that several Vikings writers have focused on has been WR3, a job that Chad Beebe held this season. Do the Vikings need to improve here?
Minnesota Vikings Roster: WR3
Admittedly, Beebe can sometimes be a frustrating player to watch. The ball-security issues lead to some stressful moments. Moreover, Beebe’s physical limitations — he is only 5’10, 183 — means that he is mostly constrained to shorter routes.
For the season, Beebe turned 30 targets into 20 catches for 201 yards. He had two touchdowns, including the Mini Miracle (see above). He also had an incredible bounce back in the Carolina game. His late punt fumble seemingly ended Minnesota’s chance of winning the game. A couple minutes later, Beebe was catching the game-winning touchdown pass.
One thing working in Beebe’s favor: his incredible resilience. Take a look at the Tyler Dunne tweet below. Now, I know some folks will read this and conclude that all the injuries mean Minnesota ought to move on. He is small and injury-prone, and therefore not worth his roster spot. Here’s the thing: the same resilience that allowed him to bounce back in the Carolina game is what keeps him coming back from all those surgeries. I want my WR3 to be resilient, tough, and competitive. Beebe certainly qualifies.
The Other Weapons
If the plan was for Beebe to be the WR1, then Minnesota fans would have legitimate reason for concern. He isn’t, though. Instead, Minnesota is asking him to be their WR3, which likely means he is the 5th or 6th option in the passing game.
Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are rightly option #1 and #2. Both are excellent. One could certainly argue that Dalvin Cook and Irv Smith Jr. ought to be more involved in the passing game. They might need more targets, but we can still say they’re options #3 and #4. If Kyle Rudolph survives the cuts, he’ll be Minnesota’s #5 option. If Beebe is my team’s fifth or sixth option – a player who is super quick and ultra resilient – I’m fine with it.
Does this mean the Minnesota Vikings’ leadership won’t be looking at every option to improve their roster? By no means. In his recent press conference, Rick Spielman suggested that the leadership would be evaluating everything from their past season in order to determine why the team failed. Part of the solution may involve being more dangerous in eleven personnel, and they may determine that upgrading over Beebe is part of this plan.
From my perspective, it would be surprising if the Vikings decided to move on from Beebe. The 26-year-old Beebe heads into the offseason as a FA. He cost the Vikings 750,000 last year. For that price – or one similar – the Vikings would be wise to secure Beebe as their WR3 moving forward.
Indeed, the Minnesota Vikings’ roster has some glaring needs, ones that actively prohibit success on a weekly basis. WR3 isn’t one of these needs, so Minnesota would be wise to focus their attention elsewhere.
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