4 Vikings players set for a smaller role in the 2021 season
By Luke Parrish
Chad Beebe – WR
Ihmir Smith-Marsette could be a dynamic weapon on special teams, but he is also in a good position to take over the third wide receiver role for the Vikings in his first season. That means Chad Beebe is no longer needed to be the go-to guy on third downs.
Beebe took a bit of a step forward last season as Minnesota tried to find the best receiver next to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. But Beebe still has his limitations.
He caught 20 passes for 201 yards and two scores last season, but that is not enough to pose a threat. His story has been admirable up to this point, but all good things must come to an end eventually.
Sure, Beebe is a reliable pass catcher that can move the sticks from time to time. Still, he lacks the size or playmaking ability to stick out or keep a firm grasp on his job. Bisi Johnson has had his moments as well despite losing his targets to Beebe and others last year.
There are a lot of wide receiver bodies in the mix for Minnesota currently and the list could get longer as they work around the rest of the cap room this summer. The Vikings have a few young options in Smith-Marsette, Whop Philyor, or even K.J. Osborn if they wish to push them into larger roles.
Minnesota could also look into free agents such as Dede Westbrook or Golden Tate to become their No. 3 receiver. While the expectations for the third wide receiver are not high given the offense’s success last season, having a reliable weapon next to Jefferson and Thielen at least keeps defenses from focusing on just those two guys.
Another option to think about is Tyler Conklin. He’s listed as a tight end, but his upside as a receiving threat is much greater than Beebe, and he could be the extra pass-catcher on the field in passing situations.