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 Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Dillon Mitchell
(Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Dillon Mitchell /

Four Rookies and a Free Agent

The remaining five receivers on the Vikings’ current roster are all new to the team. Four of them are rookies, two drafted in the seventh round this year and two who were signed as undrafted free agents.

Taken by Minnesota in this year’s NFL Draft are Dillon Mitchell from the University of Oregon and Olabisi Johnson from Colorado State University.

Mitchell, who left Oregon following his junior year, led the Pac-12 Conference with 1,184 receiving yards to go along with his team-leading 75 catches and 10 touchdowns last season. During his college career, he also returned 21 punts and three kickoffs.

Johnson spent four seasons at Colorado State and he finished with a total of 125 receptions for 2,019 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 26 punts for 170 yards and one kickoff for 23 yards during his time at the school.

In the history of the Vikings franchise, they have drafted a total of 76 wide receivers, 34 of them in the seventh round or later. Of this group, only eight ever caught a pass in a regular season game.

The most recent seventh-round draftee to catch a pass is Stephen Burton taken in 2011. Burton played only three seasons in the NFL, two of them with Minnesota and he finished with 15 career receptions.

The most successful of this group is Sam McCullum, a ninth-round draft pick by the Vikings in 1974. McCullum played 10 seasons in the NFL, four with Minnesota and six with the Seattle Seahawks.

If the odds are stacked against the seventh-round draft picks, then the road is even tougher for the Vikings’ two undrafted free agent receivers, Alexander Hollins and Davion Davis.

Hollins comes from Eastern Illinois and in two seasons he had 127 receptions for 1,796 yards and 23 touchdowns. In four years at Sam Houston State, Davis caught 226 passes for 3,181 yards and 40 touchdowns. From his sophomore season on, he caught at least 10 touchdowns.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

Hollins and Davis do not have to look far to find someone who made it from where they are starting out. Of course, it did take a year on the practice squad and contributing on special teams for a couple of years before Adam Thielen was able to break out for Minnesota.

The final newbie comes to the team with ties to the Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor, Gary Kubiak.

Jordan Taylor joined the Denver Broncos in 2015 as an undrafted free agent when Kubiak was the team’s head coach. Taylor spent his rookie season on the Broncos’ practice squad and he made the team’s active roster in 2016.

During two seasons with Denver, he was active for 26 games, making two starts. Taylor comes to Minnesota as a free agent with 29 career receptions for 351 yards and two touchdowns. He also missed the entire 2018 season after having surgery on both of his hips.

With previous NFL experience under his belt, Taylor is the favorite in this group to land a spot on the Vikings’ 2019 roster.