Should the Vikings take a look at free-agent WR Dede Westbrook?

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Dede Westbrook
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Dede Westbrook /

Should the Minnesota Vikings look into possibly signing former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook?

Currently, the Minnesota Vikings have two outstanding wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.

But the question is, who will be the third receiver behind these two talented pass-catchers? Olabisi Johnson and Chad Beebe would make good fourth and fifth receivers, but the Vikings should consider looking for someone else to be their No. 3 receiver for next season.

Minnesota could pick a receiver in the upcoming NFL Draft, but they could also sign a veteran free agent too. One notable name still left on the market is Dede Westbrook.

Dede Westbrook has a connection to new Minnesota Vikings receivers coach

Westbrook was drafted back in 2017 when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him in the fourth round out of Oklahoma. During each of his four years with the Jaguars, Keenan McCardell was his wide receivers coach. With McCardell now the Vikings’ wide receivers coach, could they possibly reunite in Minnesota this year?

Last season, Westbrook missed 14 games because of a torn ACL. But in 2018 and 2019, he only missed a total of one game and had 66 receptions in each season. He also combined for eight touchdowns in 2018 and 2019.

In addition to playing wide receiver, Westbrook has also returned 47 punts for 461 yards (9.9 average) and a touchdown in his NFL career.

If he can stay healthy, he could help the Vikings as both their returner and No. 3 receiver. If Minnesota does actually decide to pursue him this offseason, it’s possible that they might wait until after this year’s draft.

Westbrook should not cost much for the Vikings to sign. His former Jacksonville teammate Keelan Cole would have been a nice addition for Minnesota, but he ended up signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets worth $5.5 million.

If the Vikings do not sign any veteran receivers before next season, some options in the 2021 draft that could be available in the later rounds for them include Mississippi’s Elijah Moore, Texas A&M’s Jhamon Ausbon, and Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace. It would not be a surprise if Minnesota drafted at least two receivers this year.

Only two weeks remain until the 2021 draft. After that concludes, we should have a better idea about some of the moves the Vikings could still make in free agency before next season.