Vikings Rumors: Minnesota giving rookie a shot at the WR3 role

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Ihmir Smith-Marsette
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Ihmir Smith-Marsette /

Among the recent Minnesota Vikings rumors is something about the team giving rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette a chance to become the No. 3 wide receiver this year.

Much like their efforts to fix the offensive line, it feels like the Minnesota Vikings have been spending the last few years searching for a solid No. 3 wide receiver for their offense.

Ever since Jarius Wright left in 2018, the Vikings haven’t really been able to find a permanent solution for the third spot on their wide receiver depth chart.

Heading into this year’s training camp, one of Minnesota’s top priorities will, once again, be to figure out who should begin the 2021 season as their No. 3 receiver.

Vikings Rumors: Rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette expected to get an opportunity to be Minnesota’s next No. 3 receiver

With there still being a need for a solid third reciever in their offense, some wondered if the Vikings would use one of their early-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft on a young pass-catcher.

Minnesota did not end up picking a receiver during the first three rounds of this year’s draft, but they did grab one in the fifth round. With their second of two picks in the fifth round, the Vikings decided to draft former Iowa pass-catcher Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

After the selection, most assumed Smith-Marsette’s best opportunity to get on the field for Minnesota in 2021 would be as the team’s return specialist. However, it sounds like the rookie is getting a chance this offseason to emerge as the Vikings’ third receiver.

Minnesota play-by-play announcer Paul Allen recently said on his KFAN radio show that Smith-Marsette is “being given every opportunity to win that coveted third wide receiver spot,” with the Vikings.

In four seasons at Iowa, the Minnesota rookie receiver hauled in 110 passes for 1,615 yards (14.7 average) and 14 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 274 yards (8.1 average per carry) and another four scores.

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Smith-Marsette does also have the speed (4.43 time in the 40-yard dash) to get behind defenders deep down the field. This ability of his is something that could add a whole new element to the Vikings offense and also take some of the attention off of Minnesota’s top two wide receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.