Do the Vikings need WR help?

We already know the Minnesota Vikings have the best wide receiver in the game in Justin Jefferson, and with Jordan Addison, it's a top-10 group.

Beyond those two, the Vikings have a great third-down pass-catcher in tight end T.J. Hockenson, however, he might miss some time as he recovers from ACL surgery. Running back Aaron Jones has also proven to be a solid receiver out of the backfield during his career.

But do the Vikings need more help at wide receiver?

The Athletic's Alec Lewis published an article Friday, examining Minnesota's options for the No. 3 wide receiver, which has remained up for grabs since K.J. Osborn signed with the New England Patriots in free agency.

Brandon Powell is probably the frontrunner, although he's perhaps also the team's top option at punt and kick returner. Plus, if he gets hurt, the only remaining options on the roster who've even appeared in an NFL game before are Trent Sherfield, Jalen Nailor and Trishton Jackson.

Lewis also looked at a couple external options and suggested that without any wide receiver additions, the Vikings could look to use more heavy personnel this year before considering adding to its roster.

"On early downs, this approach makes sense. The problem is, in O’Connell’s two seasons with the Vikings, they rank second in the league (behind the Rams) in 11 personnel usage on third downs (92.2 percent). They need a third receiver who can make a difference.

"When push comes to shove, O’Connell typically wants three receivers on the field. And for that reason, more than any other, the lack of a steady option at the No. 3 receiver spot may be why this positional hole is so jarring."

Of course, the Vikings could wait to see who gets cut before the start of the regular-season, especially since they don't have much 2025 draft capital to trade. Here are some other guys Lewis didn't mention who could be worth a look and could likely be acquired for little to nothing.

K.J. Osborn

K.J., come back! OK, it's fair that he wants an opportunity for a bigger role, but are we positive that's in New England?

Sure, this reunion is probably pretty unlikely but the Patriots also have Demario Douglas, 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton, JuJu Smith-Schuster — who is just entering the second year of his three-year, $25 million contract — and rookie second-rounder Ja'Lynn Polk. Not to also mention tight ends Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper.

On a one-year, $4.5 million contract, could K.J. come back? Hey, it's worth thinking about, right?

Terrace Marshall Jr.

A 2021 second-round pick, Marshall hasn't exactly thrived in Carolina.

Sure, the Panthers haven't had elite quarterbacks the past few years, but Marshall is now entering the final year of his rookie deal and is firmly behind former Viking Adam Thielen and offseason addition Diontae Johnson. The Panthers also have rookie first-round pick Xavier Legette and 2023 second-rounder Jonathan Mingo, who has also seemingly surpassed Marshall.

Last year, Mingo had 43 catches on 85 targets in 15 games, while Marshall has 64 catches on 110 targets across his three seasons. He's also only averaged playing in 12 games per year.

Could a chance of scenery and reunion with his LSU teammate Jefferson get him back on track in Minnesota? He's also graded out as a decent run blocker, per PFF, although he was better his first two years than last year.

KJ Hamler

Another former second-round pick who's struggled in the NFL, Hamler missed last season after he was waived by Denver with a non-football illness designation.

This offseason, he signed a one-year deal with the Bills, who will need to replace Stefon Diggs. The former Viking was traded to Houston this offseason.

However, Buffalo also currently has Curtis Samuel, rookie second-rounder Keon Coleman, Khalil Shakir, Chase Claypool and Mack Hollins. They also have solid tight ends in Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid.

Like Marshall, Hamler has graded out well as a run blocker in his career, according to PFF, and could be worth checking into.

Justyn Ross

A presumed high draft pick who went undrafted and joined the Kansas City Chiefs, Ross is a big, 6-foot-4 wide receiver who appeared in 10 games for the champs, totaling just six catches for 53 yards.

He may be available for a look, as the Chiefs also have Marquise Brown, Rashee Rice, rookie first-rounder Xavier Worthy, Mecole Hardman, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney.

Tyler Johnson

To round things out, how about a local kid.

Johnson, of course, starred at the University of Minnesota, then was a 2020 fifth-round pick picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After solid rookie and sophomore campaigns, he was surprisingly waived and picked up by Houston, where he mainly sat on the practice squad. He signed with the Rams in 2023 and appeared in one game, snagging two receptions.

He's still behind Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Demarcus Robinson and Tutu Atwell. The Rams also drafted Jordan Whittington in the sixth round this spring.

While he may not have the upside of some of the others on this list, he could at least improve the depth in the Vikings wide receiver room.

Again, the Vikings have over $26 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, and there are certainly other options, either via trade or free agency. However, it doesn't appear the team is currently willing to invest much in a third wide receiver at the moment, so this could be something to monitor as the season draws closer.

do the vikings need wr help?

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) celebrates after a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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