The Minnesota Vikings very likely will go through an overhaul of their roster during the 2023 offseason. This will certainly impact the defensive side of the ball, but they could also see some changes offensively as well. Because of that possibility, including Adam Thielen potentially leaving the team, here are 5 WR targets for the Vikings in this spring’s free agency period.
1. Mecole Hardman
If the Vikings want to get a speedy deep threat to play alongside Justin Jefferson, Mecole Hardman is one of the best on the market. After being drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chiefs wide receiver has put together 151 receptions, 2088 yards, and 16 TDs over his first four NFL seasons.
In 2022, Hardman missed the final nine games of the regular season, but he was on pace for his best season yet with the Chiefs, catching 25 passes for 297 yards and 4 TDs in the eight games that he did play this season. Granted, he likely won’t be a true WR2 for the Vikings, but his skill set is one that the Vikings desperately need.
2. Darius Slayton
After a disappointing, injury-riddled season in 2021, Darius Slayton bounced back to put together a strong campaign in 2022. The fourth-year receiver recorded 46 receptions, 724 yards, and a pair of touchdown catches this season.
Slayton has certainly taken a step back from his rookie season in 2019 where he had 8 touchdown receptions, but the receiving talent around him hasn’t exactly been spectacular in New York. Playing opposite Justin Jefferson could open some things up for him,
3. Deonte Harty
Deonte Harty is a guy who, through his first three NFL seasons, showed a ton of promise, but he was inexplicably being shut out of the Saints offense in 2022 before suffering a toe injury that ultimately ended his season.
During 2021 for New Orleans, he caught 36 passes for 570 yards and 3 TDs. He also was an explosive punt returner in New Orleans, never averaging fewer than 9.4 yards per return in a season from 2019-2021. By signing him, the Vikings could knock out two birds with one stone.
4. DeAndre Carter
After being a journeyman for most of the first four years of his career, DeAndre Carter caught on with the Chargers in 2022 and played a major role in their offense, especially with injuries to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams throughout the year.
During the season, he caught 46 passes for 538 yards and 3 TDs with Los Angeles. Carter has proven to be a contributor for a playoff roster when healthy, and he likely won’t come with a major price tag.
5. Mack Hollins
At 6’4″, Mack Hollins is one of the biggest wide receivers in the entire NFL. He also brings decent speed to an offense (ran a 4,53 40 at the NFL combine), which could come in handy for the Vikings.
Hollins is another player that, after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft, has bounced around the NFL multiple times. However, his production in the Raiders offense is notable, recording 57 receptions for 690 yards and 4 TDs.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.