5 second-year Vikings under pressure after the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Ihmir Smith-Marsette /

Ihmir Smith-Marsette – WR

Much like the situation with Kene Nwangwu, wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette found himself stuck down the depth chart behind the stud duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson in 2021. The emergence of K.J. Osborn as the Vikings’ third weapon in the passing game was also a blow to his initial progress.

There were some nice moments for Smith-Marsette, even though they were fleeting. The former fifth-round selection out of Iowa brought in five receptions from six targets for 116 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which is obviously proof that a real player could be in there with additional responsibilities next season or beyond.

Smith-Marsette will have to fight hard for increased reps, given that the aforementioned trio remains ahead of him on the depth chart. There is also the added presence of Jalen Nailor, undrafted free agents, and the return to health of Bisi Johnson to factor into the equation.

Those two scores last time around won’t have gone unnoticed by the new coaching staff. Smith-Marsette has the size and speed to cause real damage with further development, so one cannot rule out a productive career for the wideout despite some extra uncertainty.

Everyone is getting a clean slate with Kevin O’Connell at the helm. But it’s essential that Smith-Marsette makes a good impression right from the outset this offseason.