Vikings Training Camp 2020: Previewing the wide receivers

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Bisi Johnson /

The Sophomore Surge?

Bisi Johnson

One of the pleasant surprises from a year ago was the emergence of Bisi Johnson in the Vikings offense.

While his stats of 31 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 weren’t eye-popping, they should be taken with a grain of salt since Minnesota opted to use more two-tight end sets as opposed to three-receiver sets last season.

Even if he wasn’t on the field as much as Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs, Johnson was effective when the Vikings decided to put the ball in his hands. In 2019, he ranked 11th in the NFL among qualifying receivers with a 119.4 passer rating when targeted, but he managed just 1.03 yards per route run, which ranked 90th in the league.

Perhaps Johnson isn’t going to turn into an elite wide receiver, but it’s fair to wonder what he could do with more opportunities.

While the top two receiver spots are taken, Johnson has enough talent to be the third man in the rotation with Thielen on the outside and Justin Jefferson in the slot. There’s also the chance that Gary Kubiak will be a more aggressive play-caller than Kevin Stefanski and allow Kirk Cousins to throw it more than he did in 2019.

Johnson comes into camp as one of the Vikings’ most intriguing young players and if he finds the opportunity, he could run all the way to a bigger role.