When the Minnesota Vikings traded Stefon Diggs to Buffalo this offseason many people wondered how it would affect the wide receiver depth. Behind Diggs and Adam Thielen there was certainly a lack of depth and it showed when Thielen missed over six games in 2019.
Whether or not Diggs wanted to be in Minnesota is a subject of the past and the Vikings quickly addressed the position with the first round pick they got in exchange from Buffalo. Justin Jefferson could have a bright future ahead of him, but last year’s seventh round pick has been the subject of discussion amongst the Vikings’ wide receivers.
Bisi Johnson was forced into a more prominent role when Thielen got injured last season and he made the most of his opportunity catching 31 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Those stats are paired with his 119.4 passer rating when targeted, ranking fifth out of all rookie wide receivers.
The Vikings also acquired Tajae Sharpe this offseason but it’s looking more and more likely that Johnson has secured the wide receiver two spot on the roster. Kirk Cousins interviewed with Paul Allen last week and he had some high praise for the second-year receiver.
“I think Bisi Johnson has had one of the best training camps of anyone on the team,” Cousins said during nine to noon.
When a team selects a wide receiver in the first round their fan base usually has high hopes for that player to make an immediate impact. Taking that one step further, the Vikings fan base has even higher hopes after seeing Laquon Treadwell never live up to his potential in purple.
Seeing Johnson get most of the reps as the second wide receiver throughout camp hints that he has done enough this offseason to impress the Vikings coaching staff. Although this could take reps away from Jefferson, getting some depth at the position is critical and the Vikings learned that last season.
It’s likely that Gary Kubiak continues to utilize a lot of 12 personnel packages, meaning the Vikings will only have two receivers on the field while in those sets. This means they could utilize several different packages that have different receivers on the field for different scenarios. Not to mention the team has strong groupings at tight end and running back, on top of having one of the league’s most accurate quarterbacks.
It’s never easy seeing a star receiver leave, especially the hero of the Minneapolis Miracle. However, with Jefferson being drafted and Johnson showing strides at becoming a legit option for Cousins, the depth at the position could be stronger than it was in years past.