Vikings Need an Upgrade at Wide Receiver and Texans Have Buffet of Options

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have arguably the best one-two wide receiver tandem in football. Behind Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison though, there’s a lot to be desired.

Of course the top names internally for Kevin O’Connell to decide upon are Brandon Powell, Jalen Nailor and maybe Trent Sherfield. Both wideouts have differing levels of intrigue and experience, but neither have the track record to suggest they are ideal solutions.

The Houston Texans have a plethora of options, especially since the addition of Stefon Diggs. No seriously, they have maybe a handful of wideouts behind Diggs who could all arguably slot in as an upgrade for the Vikings at WR3.

Minnesota Vikings can pick their poison with Houston Texans wide receivers

Diggs isn’t at the same level as Jefferson. But after that, Houston’s stacked wide receiver room includes 25 y/o – Nico Collins, 24 y/o – Tank Dell, 28 y/o – Noah Brown, 32 y/o – Robert Woods and 23 y/o – John Metchie III. It’s a buffet of wideout options. Pick your poison. Do you want higher ceiling or more experience?

If the Vikings were to pay up, Kwesi could swing for Nico Collins or Tank Dell. Of course, they can’t really afford to do that, given their lack of future draft picks, which is the same reason Minnesota is unlikely to go after trade block favorites from other teams, like Amari Cooper (Browns) and Chris Godwin (Bucs). Thus, Noah Brown or Robert Woods would be more likely targets, according to Alec Lewis (The Athletic).

Woods and Brown would be more doable than Cooper and Godwin from a cost perspective. They play for a Houston Texans team that boasts Stefon Diggs, Nico Collins, Tank Dell, John Metchie III and Ben Skowronek. Houston has an embarrassment of riches at the position. With free agency looming for Woods and Brown, and each player wanting more of the ball, why not move one of them for a late-round draft pick in 2026?

These two players also align with what the Vikings want at the No. 3 receiver spot. Both are capable at blocking in the run game, which was one of Osborn’s major responsibilities. O’Connell also coached Woods in Los Angeles in 2021.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

Related: Minnesota Vikings Know Who They Want to Win the WR3 Job

Noah Brown would immediately slot in as the Vikings WR3. He put up 567 yards in just 10 games and 33 receptions. Brown also started 13 games for the Dallas Cowboys during the 2022 season. Woods, on the other hand, is a more veteran option. Yes, he is 32 years old and it’s been a few years since he last went for 1,000 yards.

3Tank Dell24118754770915.174.364.562.7%9.5
12Nico Collins24151010980129716.285.386.573.4%11.9
2Robert Woods311411754042610.712.930.453.3%5.7
85Noah Brown27107553356717.223.356.760.0%10.3
8John Metchie2316030161589.901.09.953.3%5.3
82Steven Sims263033258.301.08.3100.0%8.3
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/23/2024.

But he too put up nice numbers in limited action last season (426 yards, 40 receptions) and played for Kevin O’Connell with the Rams back in 2019. In all reality, Woods would play the same type of role that Brandon Powell does, but he’s 6 feet tall, no 5-8. A move for either Brown or Woods would make a lot of sense financially for both teams, too.

Another facet to a potential move like this? The Vikings have the cap space to absorb both players’ contracts. Woods has about a $9.7 million cap hit for 2024, according to Over The Cap, while Brown’s is about $3.5 million. The Vikings have about $26 million to spend and also could renegotiate contracts with either player. Making this type of move would also solidify Powell’s standing as the team’s punt returner (and potentially kick returner).

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

A wide receiver would have nominal cost for the Minnesota Vikings

Even if the Minnesota Vikings feel set with Powell and Nailor, something of an insurance policy would cost very little. One of the Texans talents could likely be had for a late round pick, and those players are often a dice roll at best. Grabbing Hunter Renfrow off the free agent market at this point shouldn’t command a premium either.

Rather than experience the same level of uncertainty felt by the running back room last year, it stands to reason that O’Connell could bolster his offense for a new signal caller by bringing in a pass catcher. T.J. Hockenson isn’t returning any time soon, and while Robert Tonyan will help to carry that load, a third wideout would do wonders as well.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: