USC WR Jordan Addison Joins Justin Jefferson, Vikings in Todd McShay's NFL Mock Draft

Erin WalshFebruary 15, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 02: USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) celebrates during the Pac-12 Championship football game between Utah Utes and USC Trojans on December 2, 2022 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jordan Addison is one of the top wide receivers in the 2023 NFL draft class, but there's no guarantee he goes within the top 15 selections when the first round kicks off in April.

In fact, ESPN's Todd McShay has the USC standout joining Justin Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23 in his latest mock draft. He's the second wide receiver off the board in the mock draft, with TCU's Quentin Johnson projected to the Houston Texans at No. 12.

The Vikings could use a new wide receiver this spring if they decide to move on from 32-year-old Adam Thielen, who hasn't recorded a 1,000-plus-yard season since 2018.

Thielen is under contract through 2025, and his salary for 2023 is $20 million. That's a lot of money to spend on a player who is undoubtedly past his prime, which is why he's a candidate to be cut.

Minnesota is currently expected to be roughly $24 million over the salary cap, and the team is going to have make some cuts to get under the cap. If the Vikings cut or trade Thielen after June 1, they'll save $13.4 million against the 2023 salary cap, though they'll take on a dead cap hit of $6.5 million in 2023 and $7 million in 2024, per Spotrac.

If the franchise trades or cuts Thielen before June 1, it will save $6.4 million against the salary cap in 2023 and take on a dead cap hit of $13.5 million.

Cutting Thielen would open up room for wide receiver to be added, which is where Addison would come in.

The 21-year-old began his college career with the Pitt Panthers in 2020 and went on to win the Biletnikoff Award as the best wide receiver in the nation in 2021 after catching 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games.

Addison entered the transfer portal after the 2021 season and decided to join USC for the 2022 campaign. He caught 59 passes for 875 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games in his lone season with the Trojans.

If Addison joins the Vikings, he'll form one of the best young wideout duos in the NFL alongside Jefferson, who is coming off a 2022 season in which he led the NFL with 1,809 receiving yards and 128 catches.