5 Vikings players who could take a step backward in 2020

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Bisi Johnson /

Bisi Johnson – WR

Bisi Johnson was a surprise for the Vikings a season ago. He was a very late seventh-round choice who many had pegged as an extreme long shot to make the team.

Johnson didn’t bring a ton to the table as far as measurables went. He’s just 6-feet tall and he’s not exceptionally fast. What he does have is a set of reliable hands and an understanding of routes.

Johnson worked his way up the depth chart and made Minnesota’s final roster as their fourth wide receiver last year. He eventually became the third option and he had himself a solid little rookie season where he tallied 31 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

While that was impressive production from a late seventh-round choice, a little cold water should be thrown on his performance last season.

Johnson had very little competition in 2019 on the Vikings’ depth chart. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were set at the top and he had to battle it out with players like Laquon Treadwell, Dillon Mitchell, and Chad Beebe for playing time.

Minnesota’s pool of wide receiver talent was so poor the team elected to keep only four wide receivers to open the season, which is basically unheard of.

This year, the competition will be much stiffer. Theilen and first-round rookie Justin Jefferson are the only two receivers who are guaranteed to have a spot on the 2020 roster. Johnson will have to compete with Tajae Sharpe, K.J. Osborn, Quartney Davis, Alexander Hollins, Davion Davis, and Dillon Mitchell for playing time next season.

While Johnson is essentially a given to make the team, his targets could go down. Not only does he need to worry about losing targets to fellow receivers, but it’s widely expected that Irv Smith Jr.‘s role could increase with Diggs now out of town and he could lose targets to him.

As nice of a story as Johnson was last year, he could see numbers very similar to what he did a season ago, or even less, as the Vikings’ receiving corps is much deeper from top to bottom.