The pomp and circumstance of the NFL’s draft lead-up will yield Thursday night to the pomp and circumstance of players flying off the draftboard to new teams.
You’ve arrived indeed, and the Minnesota Vikings will step up to the plate, 23rd in line, on April 27th to fill long-term roster needs at cornerback, linebacker, defensive line, wide receiver, and maybe even quarterback.
PREDICTION: Vikings Fans Have One for Team’s 1st Pick of Draft
And while this draft build-up for Minnesota is more confounding than years past, Vikings fans have settled on a formal prediction in Round 1 — USC’s WR Jordan Addison.
On Twitter, through a direct messaging process, we polled Vikings fans from around the globe. Addison’s margin for “victory” was ultra-slim, but he was the guy most mentioned by the team’s faithful as a draft-night prediction.
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker finished in second place by a mere couple of votes.
The Vikings dropped longtime and beloved Minnesotan Adam Thielen in March because of salary cap constraints, and 2023 WR3 K.J. Osborn is on deck, for now, as the presumptive WR2. But fans’ Addison prediction would likely shatter Osborn’s grand plans.
Osborn is under contract with the Vikings for just one more season, scheduled to hit free agency next March at the end of his rookie deal. He could ball out and remain in Minnesota with a hefty contract or join a different team in about 10.5 months.
Onboarding Addison this year would possibly spell the end of Osborn after 2023. Round 1 wide receivers generally receive attention in an offense — fairly fast — and the Trojan should reasonably expect to generate targets in Year 1.
NFL.com’s Peter Schrager authored his first mock draft of the cycle last week and nominated Addison for the Vikings depth chart in 2023, “I know of at least one team that has Addison as its top-rated wide receiver. With Adam Thielen now in Carolina, this pairing makes sense. That said, Minnesota can go a variety of ways here.”
Addison is a 6’0″ and 170-pounder who tabulated 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at Pittsburgh and USC.
“With Kirk Cousins in the last year of his contract, quarterback could be an option, but the Vikings might have to aggressively jump up the board in order to get their man at that position,” Schrager concluded.
The Vikings have an unbelievably rich history with 1st-Round wide receivers — Randy Moss, Percy Harvin, Justin Jefferson — so if fans nail this pick, the streak could continue.
In order, this was Vikings fans’ list of predictions for the team’s first pick of the draft:
- Jordan Addison (WR)
- Hendon Hooker (QB)
- Quentin Johnston (WR)
- Zay Flowers (WR)
- Deonte Banks (CB)
- Will Levis (QB)
- Joey Porter Jr. (CB)
- Mazi Smith (DT)
Addison turned 21 in January.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.