When the Minnesota Vikings decided to trade Stefon Diggs last month, they also created a hole in their wide receiver depth chart.
Or did they?
One factor that allowed the Vikings to feel okay with dealing Diggs was their confidence in the other receivers on their current roster. Minnesota definitely wouldn’t have traded one of their top pass catchers if they didn’t think they could potentially replace his production in 2020 with someone who is under contract through next season.
Do the Minnesota Vikings have a current receiver to replace Stefon Diggs?
As the Vikings head into this year’s NFL Draft, they currently have eight receivers on their roster. Adam Thielen is the obvious name at the top of the depth chart. But after him is where the unknown begins to grow a bit larger.
Currently, the fight to be Minnesota’s No. 2 receiver in 2020 will likely be between Bisi Johnson, Tajae Sharpe, and Chad Beebe. Some other young pass-catchers might have a shot at the role like Alexander Hollins, Davion Davis, and Dillon Mitchell, but the lack of a true offseason this year will probably hurt their chances.
The Vikings could also use one of their early-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft to add a new receiver. However, the lack of an actual offseason, once again, could prevent a rookie from coming in and immediately taking over as Minnesota’s No. 2 receiver for 2020.
So a battle for the role between Beebe, Johnson, and Sharpe seems to be the most likely scenario once the Vikings are finally able to get back onto the practice field later this year.
Currently, the edge has to go to Johnson. He had a solid rookie season in 2019 and he’s more familiar with Minnesota’s offense than the newly acquired Sharpe.
Beebe is basically the dark horse candidate since the No. 3 or No. 4 receiver roles are probably more suitable for him next season. This is also assuming he makes the Vikings’ active roster in 2020, which is something that is far from a guarantee right now.
If it were just a normal year with a normal offseason, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a rookie coming in and taking over as Minnesota’s No. 2 receiver for 2020.
But with the way things currently are and there being no real idea of when players will be able to return to their team’s facilities to meet and practice, Johnson has to be viewed as the guy in the driver’s seat unless he sustains an injury.