Breaking down the Vikings’ current wide receiver situation

(Photo by Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
(Photo by Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe /

Second-Year Players

Six of the wide receivers on the Vikings’ current 90-man roster were with the team last season. Along with the previously mentioned locks to make the team are Chad Beebe, Brandon Zylstra, and Jeff Badet.

The leader of this trio is Beebe who caught four passes for 39 yards in three games last season. Beebe, an undrafted free agent from Northern Illinois, also has experience as a punt returner as he returned 48 punts for 329 yards in college.

Due to this, he appears to be the early leading candidate to take over the punt returning duties for Minnesota in 2019 with the departure of Marcus Sherels to the New Orleans Saints this offseason.

With the possibility of winning the Vikings’ punt returning job, Beebe has a good chance of making the team this year. His presence on the roster would also allow some flexibility for Minnesota to have an extra wide receiver much like Sherels gave the team flexibility as an extra cornerback.

Zylstra is another small town Minnesota kid like Adam Thielen looking to make it with the team he grew up cheering for.

He finished his college career at Morehead-Concordia after transferring from Augustana College in South Dakota. Zylstra was active for all 16 of the Vikings’ games in 2018 but he made only one catch for 23 yards and he returned four punts for just 26 yards.

Read. 5 Vikings who need to step up in 2019. light

Prior to signing with Minnesota last year, Zylstra played two seasons in the CFL and he led the pass-first league in receiving with 1,687 yards on 100 receptions in 2017. Although he did appear in 16 games last season, his chances of making the Vikings in 2019 may depend on beating out Beebe as the punt returner.

Badet is an interesting case for Minnesota. The team added $75,000 to his base salary as an incentive to keep him from signing with the New York Jets this year.

An undrafted free agent in 2018, Badet spent last season on the Vikings’ practice squad. He also provides flexibility to Minnesota having returned punts and kicks while playing for Kentucky and Oklahoma in college.

Badet has one thing that cannot be coached—speed. This summer, Badet, along with Trae Waynes, will be competing in a 40-yard dash tournament for NFL players.

For Beebe, Zylstra, and Badet, it could come down to who wins the Vikings’ punt returning job. Right now, Beebe has the best chance to make the final roster.

Based on Minnesota’s interest in retaining Badet, he is likely ahead of Zylstra to make the final roster. Zylstra was active all last season, yet he was only targeted twice. So his best chance to make the team may have passed.