5 players trending up early at Vikings training camp in 2021

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jake Browning
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jake Browning /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn /

K.J. Osborn – WR

Losing Bisi Johnson to a torn ACL is the last thing the Vikings needed. Their depth at wide receiver isn’t the greatest by any stretch of the imagination outside of stud duo Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. However, the free-agent signing of Dede Westbrook comes with a high amount of upside.

One wideout who has really caught the eye is K.J. Osborn. The 2020 fifth-round pick has drawn widespread praise for the way he’s improved this offseason, and he might just be the frontrunner to secure the third position on the depth chart following the first few days of training camp.

Obviously, keeping a close eye on how Westbrook is being used has some big ramifications for Osborn. The former Jacksonville Jaguars pass-catcher has some enticing skills and elusiveness, even if injuries slowed down his progress last season.

This is just another challenge Osborn needs to overcome. He was used primarily as a backup kick returner as a rookie and saw no snaps with the offense in a competitive setting, so the Vikings are asking him to take a pretty big leap.

Mike Zimmer is sure to give Osborn plenty of time on the field during preseason games, which will be invaluable to his development. Something he didn’t get to experience last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions.