Kevin O’Connell Expects Jordan Addison to be a Day 1 Starter

Photo: John McGillen - USC Athletics

The Minnesota Vikings did the unthinkable on Thursday night, in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. They stayed put. After all the rumors about moving up and moving down, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stayed at pick 23 and drafted USC wide receiver, Jordan Addison.

Day 1 starter expectations for Jordan Addison

Addison is a shifty, sure-handed pass catcher who can eat up yards after the catch. But his best attribute might be route running. He’s smaller (5’11”, 173 lbs) but proved after transferring from Pitt to USC for his Junior season, that he can play inside and outside at the next level.

As a Sophomore at Pitt in 2021, with Kenny Pickett as his QB, Addison caught 100 passes (14 games) for 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. Absurd numbers that earned him 1st-team consensus All-America honors. In his one season at USC (2022) with Caleb Williams, Jordan caught 59 passes (11 games) for 875 yards and 8 touchdowns.

So how good is the 21-year-old from Frederick, Maryland and what should we expect from him in 2023-24? Well… two guys who would have inside knowledge on that subject, the GM and head coach Kevin O’Connell, have already proclaimed him as a day 1 starter. Sorry KJ Osborn.

In the clip above, Kevin O’Connell mentions twice that Addison is a day 1 starter, first turning to others in the war room and saying, “this guy’s a day 1 starter.” Moments later, he hugs Kwesi and says again, “that’s a day 1 starter right there.”

Kevin O’Connell wanted Addison badly

He wasn’t done yet, though. After celebrating a bit with his coaches and executives, KOC gets on the phone with Jordan and it’s clear that Addison is who he wanted the whole time. It sounds like he had been telling him throughout the process that the Vikings were going to find a way to add #3 from USC to their roster.

“What’d I tell you? I told you we’d get ya. Somehow, someway. I told ya, we’re just getting started, man. That day in my office, we’re just getting started. This thing just got real real serious for a lot of people. You and Justin Jefferson breaking the huddle at the same time is problem. This is huge for us, man. I’m so proud of you. You deserve it. There’s no better organization to come to in the NFL. This is something we talked about long before you ever stepped foot here and all you did when you came here was make us want you even more. So the Minnesota Vikings are fired up.”

Kevin O’Connell speaking to Jordan Addison (video above)
Highlights for days…

KJ Osborn has been trying to convince people all offseason that he is ready to step into the WR2 role, now that Adam Thielen was in Carolina. Unfortunately for him, he is unlikely to get a real shot at doing that. It’s clear how much O’Connell likes Jordan Addison and expects him to be the WR2 on this team by week one of the regular season.

And really, if you watch the tape he put up in college, you will immediately see why. This kid is dynamic.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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