Head coach Kevin O’Connell has already referred to the USC product his team selected No. 23 overall in the first round of the NFL Draft as a “Day 1 starter.” Behind the scenes leading up to Thursday night, April 27, O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah promised Addison that if he was available when they went on the clock, the Vikings would take him. That’s exactly what happened, which was more than Addison could say for other franchises that hosted him for pre-draft visits.
“They said [they’d draft me], but they didn’t stick to their word, so I’m glad to be a Viking,” Addison said during his introductory press conference Friday. “This is where I’m supposed to be at. They believe in me, and I’m just glad to be here.”
The Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints both attempted to trade up with the Vikings and draft Addison, per a Friday report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP, though Minnesota spurned those advances.
“It was crazy because this was my last 30-day visit. The last time I was on a visit, I was here,” Addison said of Minnesota. “And they told me if I’m on that board, they’re gonna grab me. So once Minnesota came up, I just kept checking my phone. Last two minutes came down, they called me. So just excited for that.”
Jordan Addison Says QB Kirk Cousins Reached Out to Him on Draft Night
Addison said his new Vikings teammates wasted no time in welcoming him. To no surprise, affable quarterback Kirk Cousins was among the first to reach out.
“I haven’t talked to Justin [Jefferson] yet, but Kirk sent me a message yesterday — a real warm, welcoming message, so I’m looking forward to meeting all the guys,” Addison said Friday.
The 21-year-old wide receiver added that Cousins’ play impresses him and makes him excited for the possibilities in 2023.
“He can make plays with his arm,” Addison said. “He’s accurate, does a good job anticipating throws, and then he feeds all his receivers and gets playmakers the ball.”
Jordan Addison Praises Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn
Addison now joins a wide receiver room that includes Jefferson, an All-Pro in 2022, and K.J. Osborn who showed flashes of brilliance last season. As for his rookie role, however, Addison said he will leave that up to O’Connell and company.
“[Minnesota is] just really a prestigious place for receivers,” Addison said. “I’m just glad I get to add to this great receiver room that y’all already got.”
“The role for me, I’ll just leave that up to the coaches and make sure that when I come in here, I can run routes all day and I’m ready to work,” Addison continued. “Coming into a great receiver group as a young rookie, that’s what you want — a lot of great receivers who have already proven themselves that I can go learn from.”
Adofo-Mensah reiterated Thursday that Addison’s top strength is his ability to create separation from defenders, something Jefferson already does at an elite level. Addison added on Friday that he will bring an artistic approach with him to the franchise, which will hopefully allow him to paint masterpieces on the field in Minnesota alongside another pass-catching genius.
“When I’m running my routes, I like to look at it like I’m an artist and I’m going out there painting pictures,” Addison said. “I just fell in love with the craft, and I feel like that’s what’s helping me succeed.”