Vikings WR3 Job is There for the Taking and *Surprise* Jalen Nailor is Nowhere to be Found

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Jalen Nailor was part of the first draft class under general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell. Nailor was selected in the sixth-round of the 2022 NFL Draft at pick No. 191 overall.

Although he was drafted in the sixth-round, Nailor has the traits that can succeed in the NFL and he’s shown flashes to teammates, coaches and media members. Jalen is extremely fast, versatile, and he can catch the football, an underrated trait for that position.

Despite such talent, he can’t put together a long enough stretch of being healthy. That makes it difficult to climb the depth chart on the practice field or contribute during games. And to nobody’s surprise, Nailor was absent at mandatory minicamp too.

Jalen Nailor absent from Minnesota Vikings’ minicamp due to illness

According to Alec Lewis (The Athletic), Nailor missed all three days due to an illness. For someone who has as much potential and talent as he does, this is quite disappointing. Especially, in an offseason where there is a legitimate battle for that third wide receiver spot, after K.J. Osborn departed in free agency.

Jalen Nailor, who was one of the more impressive Vikings performers throughout the first few organized team activities, was not present this week. The Vikings said he missed workouts due to an illness. Absences have been a theme for the 2022 sixth-round pick, who lost time last year because of a lower-leg injury and concussion.

Alec Lewis (The Athletic)

At this stage of Nailor’s career, its boom or bust. If he wants to make the 53-man roster, yet alone get snaps on game days, he has to stay get on the field. In two NFL seasons, Nailor has only 12 receptions, 208 receiving yards, and one touchdown.

Is Jalen Nailor always injured?

Not only could Jalen Nailor compete for reps at WR3, but he’s also got immense potential as a punt returner too. His Relative Athletic Score (RAS) coming out of Michigan State University was 8.09. At that time, that was ranked 534 out of 2,785 wide receivers from 1987 to 2022.

From illnesses, to hamstrings, to concussions, he seems to battle with about every type of health impediment imaginable. Not only that, Nailor the same types of issues in college. He played in only 28 games over four seasons, but when he was available, Jalen’s productivity and a big-play abilities were off the charts.

Related: Sam Darnold Shines at Vikings Minicamp

Overall, if Nailor wants to make it in the NFL, he’s going to have to start participating at offseason workouts and battle through these ailing injuries. If he’s not on the field for a majority, if not all, of training camp and puts together a solid showing, his time is likely done in Minnesota.

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