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5 sleeper wide receivers the Vikings could select in the NFL Draft

A deep class could result in some steals in the later rounds.

With just four wide receivers currently on the roster, the Minnesota Vikings will be looking to add depth at the wide receiver position in this year's NFL Draft.

While we've profiled some of the first and second-round targets the Vikings could be interested in, the depth of this class could entice Minnesota to be patient when addressing the problem. That could result in some big-time steals while allowing them to fill other positions. 

Note: Since this is Minnesota and everyone knows how good Tyler Johnson (Gophers) could be in the NFL, we won't qualify him as a sleeper in this post. 

Donovan Peoples-Jones

Peoples-Jones could have been lumped in with the second round group, but it seems like people have forgotten about him. After coming to Michigan as the highest-rated wide receiver recruit in the nation, Peoples-Jones didn't put up monster stats, but that was more on the Wolverines' quarterback situation.

What people will see when they flip tape of Jones on is a physical, big-bodied receiver that recorded a 4.48s 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. With vertical (44.5") and broad (139") jumps that ranked in the 99th percentile of this year's class, he can go get the ball in contested situations as a red zone target.

The knock on Jones is that he isn't a fast-twitch athlete, which can be a problem considering Kirk Cousins doesn't like to throw to contested receivers. There's enough there to be a potential steal, however, and he could wind up being one of the better receivers out of this class in the right situation.

Chase Claypool

At 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, Claypool is one of the biggest wide receivers in this year's draft. He's so big that some scouts thought he should make the transition to tight end before he dominated the combine with a strong workout.

While his separation skills need improvement, it might not matter as the Vikings would look to use him as a physical diversion away from Adam Thielen and Tajae Sharpe. By running a 4.42s 40-yard dash, he has the straight-line speed to be a threat on deep passes and can also be another end-zone target thanks to his size and a 40.5" vertical.

Michael Pittman Jr.

A target with NFL bloodlines, Pittman took a while to get going at USC thanks to a fluid quarterback situation. Once things settled down, the 6-foot-4, 219-pounder took over for the Trojans with 101 catches, 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior season.

People aren't going to confuse Pittman with a route-running technician, but he knows how to get open. His hands would make for a reliable target for Cousins and his ability as a deep threat draws comparisons to Detroit's Kenny Golladay.

With an ability to wind up on "You Got Mossed," Pittman could be the intermediate receiver to pair with Thielen's big-play explosiveness, which would give the Vikings an intriguing wide receiver duo.

Binjimen Victor

For the most part, the Vikings will be looking for pro-ready players as they look to compete in 2020. If they're looking for a project with some upside in the later rounds, Victor would be a fine prospect that has some redeeming qualities.

Victor's strengths include a deep route tree and strong hands that can make him a reliable target. His main weakness is his strength as he'll have to add muscle to his 6-foot-4, 199-pound frame to be an outside receiver.

As much as this may be a reach, Victor has some traits that could be a viable replacement for Stefon Diggs in time. It's just a matter of if the Vikings are willing to wait long enough for the development to happen.

Lynn Bowden Jr.

Even in an offense where the Vikings would like to run the ball, having versatile pieces to move around is key in today's NFL. Although this is another developmental prospect, Bowden is an explosive player that can add a wrinkle into Gary Kubiak's scheme.

Bowden has decent size at 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds but is more of a swiss army knife that can do it all. Although he spent the majority of his time at Kentucky at receiver, he was thrust into emergency quarterback duty and wound up running for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior year.

With his big-play ability, route running and the added bonus of being a dangerous punt returner, Bowden has the look of another Kentucky alum in Randall Cobb. If the Vikings are creative enough, Bowden could be a late-round steal that adds excitement to the offense.

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