The Vikings have signed Dede Westbrook, and that’s a modestly interesting signing. The Jaguars gave up on him last year, but I have been a fan of his work previously.
In both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Westbrook caught 66 passes. I remember him looking pretty good in his first preseason as a rookie, catching a few long touchdowns (and I think going over 100 yards in a game against Tampa Bay). Later they moved him into more of a slot role. Get him in the right spot, and I think he might be decent.
There are some good former Oklahoma pass catchers in the league right now, including Hollywood Brown, CeeDee Lamb and Mark Andrews. Westbrook at Norman put up better numbers than all of those guys. (If not for some off-field issues, he would have been drafted a couple rounds earlier.)
|OKLAHOMA PASS CATCHERS (last 5 years)|
The Seahawks also had interest in Westbrook. He signed up with Minnesota in part because of his relationship with receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Getting to the point where you might select Westbrook in a fantasy draft, that’s a much harder sell. I think he’ll beat out Chad Beebe and Bisi Johnson, serving as Minnesota’s third wide receiver, but that don’t use many multiple receiver sets. In that offense, everything tends to run through Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
Set aside that one-two punch, and the Vikings last year completed only 34 passes to their other wide receivers last year. If you set aside the top 2 wide receivers for each offense, every team in the league last year got their reserve receivers a lot more involved.
If either Thielen or Jefferson goes down with an injury, we can start talking about Westbrook maybe having some value. But in general, if you’re playing the waiting game for an injury, it should be at running back rather than wide receiver.
|WIDE RECEIVERS AFTER THE TOP 2|