5 receivers that can replace Adam Thielen for the Vikings in 2023

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) DeAndre Hopkins
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) DeAndre Hopkins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Jaxon Smith-Njigba /

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The final prospect the Vikings could consider is Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The 21-year-old’s stock was soaring coming off a sophomore season where he caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns but a hamstring injury threw a wrench into his final season with Ohio State.

Even with the injury issues, Smith-Njigba profiles as a top prospect. He ran roughly 88 percent of his snaps in the slot during his sophomore season and while some see it as a knock, it’s similar to Jefferson’s narrative prior to the 2020 draft that he couldn’t play on the outside.

Smith-Njigba’s speed also is a question mark, but a good time at his pro day could give him a relative athletic score toward the top of this year’s receiver class. Even if he has a modest time, having him across from Jefferson should give him a chance to make some plays, which is something he took advantage of with the Buckeyes.

If Smith-Njigba is available when the Vikings are on the clock, they should consider taking the risk.

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