4 Vikings cuts before the 2021 season that would surprise no one
By Adam Patrick
K.J. Osborn – WR
Minnesota selecting K.J. Osborn in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft certainly raised a few eyebrows when it happened.
Several draft analysts didn’t think Osborn was going to be picked at all last year. But the Vikings obviously felt he was worthy of having a fifth-round selection used on him.
Minnesota brought him in to possibly compete for the No. 3 receiver role down the road, but his main job when he first arrived to the team was to take over as their punt returner. Osborn returned plenty of punts during his college career, so the Vikings figured he could potentially add a spark to their special teams last season.
Unfortunately for Osborn and Minnesota, his rookie season didn’t turn out that well. Not only was he not on the field for a single offensive snap last year, but he averaged a terrible 3.9 yards per punt return and just 21.6 yards as a kick returner.
With the Vikings adding Kene Nwangwu and Ihmir Smith-Marsette in this year’s draft, Osborn will not only have someone new competing for his spot on the wide receiver depth chart, but either Nwangwu or Smith-Marsette could also take over his job as the team’s primary returner.
There’s also the chance that Osborn could remain on Minnesota’s 2021 roster after showing significant improvements during this year’s OTAs and training camp. But if he’s not on the roster for the Vikings’ first matchup of the 2021 season, no one would be blown away with shock.