5 WRs the Vikings could realistically select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Former Florida State WR Johnny Wilson
Former Florida State WR Johnny Wilson / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2024 NFL Draft with significant uncertainties, primarily surrounding the quarterback position.

Something that has been going under the radar in the pre-draft process is Minnesota's potential need for a new wide receiver in their offense, as they lack a true WR3 with the departure of K.J. Osborn. Is the receiver position a glaring issue? No, but it is an issue nonetheless that may need addressing in the upcoming draft.

While Minnesota has no second or third-round picks this year to use on a wide receiver, this year's class is filled with intriguing prospects. So, who are some realistic receiving prospects that Minnesota could look to take in the 2024 NFL Draft to help solidify the depth at that position?

5 WRs the Minnesota Vikings could realistically select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Johnny Wilson - Florida State

While this draft class is full of intriguing wide receiver prospects like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, and many others, you may not find a more interesting prospect than Johnny Wilson out of Florida State. Wilson is a staggering 6-foot-6 and 237 pounds, but he boasts an impressive 4.52-second time in the 40-yard dash.

There is no denying that Wilson is a force of nature, but in a receiving class as stacked as this, Wilson is projected to be a deeper-round selection. The biggest issue with Wilson is that he is unrefined, with his physical abilities carrying him as a player while the football skill needs more work.

Teams may very well overlook his issues and draft him higher just off his athletic prowess, but the idea of him being a project player may hurt him overall.

Minnesota would be a perfect fit for Wilson, as wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell has proven his ability to refine every player that crosses his path. Wilson's jump ball ability and his sheer size would be a welcome sight for the Vikings, too, as Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison do not bring that value to the table.

There's a good chance Wilson will get snatched up before Minnesota picks in round four, but if he makes it that far, the Vikings need to draft him with no hesitation.

Minnesota Vikings
Former Texas A&M WR Ainias Smith / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Ainias Smith - Texas A&M

Going from 6-foot-6 Johnny Wilson to 5-foot-9 Ainias Smith out of Texas A&M. Smith is the definition of a gadget player, as he was used all over the field for the Aggies as a receiver, a runner and on special teams.

The versatility that Smith brings could fit right in with the offensive mind of Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell, and his skill as a slot receiver is what Minnesota needs after Osborn's departure.

The biggest concern with Smith is his durability, as he has had prior leg issues that are a red flag in his profile. For a smaller receiver, those durability concerns are only heightened when reaching the NFL, as the physicality is greatly increased.

There is no denying his talent as a football player, but his size and injury history could cause his draft stock to tumble in the 2024 draft. Minnesota is in need of a slot player like Smith, and they can easily take the injury risk when drafting him, as they are lucky to have two stud receivers already on the roster.

Tahj Washington - USC

Picking a smaller receiver from the University of Southern California? That seemed to work out just fine for the Vikings in the 2023 NFL Draft. Minnesota has a chance to do this again in 2024 with Jordan Addison's former college teammate, Tahj Washington.

Washington is a 5-foot-10, 174-pound receiver who analysts love for his fluid route running and his willingness to do the dirty work. He doesn't have blazing top-end speed, so his vertical threat ability is limited, but he is a quick-moving player with YAC potential. His small size and limited speed project him to be a primary slot receiver, which fits perfectly for the Vikings.

Washington may not be a top-tier athlete like other prospects, but across the board, he is praised for his tenacity, which is a trait that will help players succeed in the NFL until the end of time. Minnesota could look to pair up Washington with his former Trojan teammate, and Tahj looks like he could be a great fit.

Minnesota Vikings
Former Michigan WR Cornelius Johnson / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

Cornelius Johnson - Michigan

If the Vikings take former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy in this year's draft, what better way to ease his transition to the NFL than by selecting his college teammate as well?

Even if Minnesota doesn't end up with McCarthy, Johnson is an intriguing wide receiver prospect in this draft that Minnesota should look to take.

Johnson has an NFL-ready frame, standing at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds. He ran a 4.44-second time in the 40-yard dash this year, showing that he has the speed to boast with his solid size. Johnson's biggest issue is his unrefined route-running, with many scouts seeing him as a vertical threat rather than an all-around player.

Once again, Minnesota has shown proficiency in unlocking a receiver's potential in the NFL, and Johnson could be the next in line. He has the physical tools that can be molded into something special, and the Vikings have the tools to unlock that potential.

Malachi Corley - Western Kentucky

The chances that the Vikings can end up with Malachi Corley are dangerously low, but they are certainly not at zero. While it may not be realistic, Corley is a receiver in this draft that would unlock a level in Minnesota's offense that fans have never seen before, so let's talk about the Western Kentucky product.

Corley is 5-foot-11, but he weighs in over at 210 pounds, making him a solidly built athlete. NFL scouts have consistently compared him to San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel, as his compact build and solid speed make him a YAC nightmare for defenses.

Corley's biggest issue is his route-running ability, though that is something that Minnesota can easily refine. He is certainly no Percy Harvin, but he's one of those receivers where you just get him the ball and watch him go, which Minnesota hasn't seen in some time.

Corley is an offensive weapon from anywhere on the field, and he would make the Vikings offense even scarier. Is it likely he falls to Minnesota? Probably not, but we can dream.

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