How Rookie WR Jalen Nailor fits with 2022 Vikings

How Rookie WR Jalen Nailor fits with 2022 Vikings

Jalen Naylor

Here’s a bit of reality – Jalen Naylor will probably make the Minnesota Vikings 53-man roster in September. He was the only wide receiver drafted by the team in April and that was for a good reason.

One notable coach from Mike Zimmer’s coaching staff was Keenan McCardel, who is said to be a distinguished player. McCardel joins Kevin O’Connell to build a collaborative Viking culture.

During the draft, McCardel was reported to have “pushed the table” for Naylor, an indicator that Michigan State alumni will be included in the 2022 regular season plan.

And here’s what it might be like to see those plans for Nailer.

Life as WR5, even WR4

December 30, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Jalen Naylor. Compulsory Credit: Brett Davis-USA Today Sports.

2021 The Los Angeles Rams – former O’Connell employer – started the 2021 season with six wide receivers. It means well – e.g., Really Good – for Naylor. He will form a team; You can buy jerseys.

The first three WR roles are said to be out of a shadow of doubt, as Justin Jefferson, Adam Thilen, and KJ Osborne are the big threesomes of the team through passing games. It will not change without injury.

Naylor could carve her place somewhere behind Osborne this summer. Ihmir Smith-Marcet would not like it because he is a pioneer in capturing WR4 duty. And below the 2021 stretch, the Smith-Mercedes WR3 and WR4 showed glimpses of power.

On the other hand, the WR5 is completely in the air. BC Johnson is back in his fourth season – the year of a contract, no less – but leaving the Colorado State alumni is not a difficult task. Johnson is “one man,” notable only for refusing to invest in a true WR3 by the Vikings. This is a safe bet that Nailor has won the WR5 job over Johnson.

Naylor was a big-game threat in the state of Michigan, and it’s not very BC-esque. The team has tracks inside the rookie to be WR5.

Life as a Punt Returner

Atlanta Michigan State Wide receiver Jalen Naylor / Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Suppose we’re wrong, and Johnson returns to the Vikings as a resurrected tyrant of high-flying crime. When you want to smile, Nailer can be assumed to be a punt-returning candidate.

This is not a fringe theory. Instead, the idea escapes the lips of new special team coordinator Matt Daniels.

Last year, Dade provided Westbrook Punt-Returner services, and he remained as a free agent until May 24. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah clearly doesn’t see Westbrook as eligible to re-sign for a sequel.

So, PR is ready to catch the job. If Naylor WR4 or WR5 is not ready for the responsibility – what will be the title of Boom-Punt Returner? He runs a 4.5 forty-yard dash in the lead-up of the draft, which will do the trick when the punt returns.

And in the interest of avoiding the antidote here, Nailer will probably fulfill both responsibilities – WR5 and PR.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to her daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. She Hosts a podcast With Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sai And Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking Fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Criminal Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (Band).

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