5 Minnesota Vikings roster spots up for grabs in the 2021 preseason

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brandon Dillon
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brandon Dillon /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) K.J. Osborn /

Wide Receiver No. 3

With the recent injury to Bisi Johnson, the No. 3 receiver spot becomes even more of an interesting battle this summer for the Vikings.

K.J. Osborn has been the surprise so far, wowing in practice on a daily basis. The guy wasn’t given a shot at wide receiver a season ago and he struggled as a return man. Many wrote him off as an easy cut this year, but he’s proving people wrong with his play and he is definitely in the mix for this job. He could be a shoo-in if his solid play carries into Minnesota’s three preseason games.

Dede Westbrook is another option. The Vikings signed the veteran a few weeks back. He’s the likely favorite to land this spot on the depth chart, but he hasn’t been able to practice much as he recovers from an ACL injury. He’ll need to get on the field and start building rapport with his quarterback if he’s going to make a serious push for the role.

Rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette is also in play. He’s quick and shifty with a good top gear and he has already made some splash plays in camp. He will need to continue to impress if he’s going to leapfrog Westbrook and Osborn for the job.

Chad Beebe is the final option and while he’s had a quiet training camp so far, he’s a favorite of the coaching staff who understands this offense, and he can find the open holes in a defense.

All four of these players are likely going to make the final roster, but only one can be the third option in the receiving corps. Osborn has gotten a lot of early camp buzz, but the veteran Westbrook can’t be written off just yet.