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Kevin O’Connell: We felt like Jordan Addison was one of the premier players at receiver

Mike Florio and Chris Simms break down the Vikings’ move to pick Jordan Addison No. 23 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, which closed out a historic string of four consecutive WR picks.

The Vikings brought in another first-round receiver by selecting Jordan Addison with the 23rd overall pick on Thursday night.

Addison was part of a string of receivers to come off the board at that point in the first round. While he clearly fills a need for Minnesota after longtime receiver Adam Thielen’s departure, Addison was also one of the best players left.

“I think a lot of people always talk about the best-player-available thing. It was one of those scenarios where the way the board kind of fell for us, it allowed it to kind of check both boxes,” O’Connell said Thursday night. “It was a need for us, obviously, [after] the departure of a great player like Adam Thielen, so we wanted to make sure that if a true impact player at that position was available at our pick that we were prepared for it.

“We did a lot of work on that group and felt like Jordan Addison was one of the premier players at that position available, and we were very fortunate that he was there at 23. Really, really excited to add him to our team.”

O’Connell touted Addison’s versatility, saying that he should be able to play in different receiver spots within the offense.

“I think he’s very well aware of how we plan to use him, how he fits with Justin [Jefferson], and KJ [Osborn], Jalen [Reagor], and Jalen [Nailor] and the rest of our receiver room, but also T.J. [Hockenson] and our ability to activate the rest of our tight ends and our backs in the passing game,” O’Connell said. “It truly gives you a pretty versatile skill set, and now adding that impact player at such a priority position for how we like to move the football and kind of put it all together, it’s a big deal for us.”

Last season at USC, Addison caught 59 passes for 875 yards with eight touchdowns. The year before at Pitt, he tallied 100 receptions for 1,593 yards with 17 TDs.