The Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Warren Jackson on Monday in a move that will probably slide under the radar. But the Colorado State alum is an intriguing prospect that brings size to the Vikings' receiving room.
Jackson is 6-foot-6 and originally committed to Arizona out of high school. After switching to Colorado State, Jackson played sparingly in his first two seasons before breaking out in his junior season in 2019.
With 77 catches for 1,119 yards and eight touchdowns, Jackson decided to opt-out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft. Jackson went undrafted and signed as a UDFA with the Denver Broncos.
Jackson was waived over the weekend in part to the 12 receivers on the Broncos roster. He could find a more favorable situation in Minnesota with the Vikings possessing little depth behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
But the good news stops there when evaluating Jackson. His workout prior to the draft was a disaster, ranking no higher than the 27th percentile in speed and agility drills including a 4.72-second time in the 40-yard dash.
Jackson also doesn't stand out on tape. While he makes some big plays it's largely because he was taller than his competition. Jackson also looks stiff in his routes which could be damaging to his chances to stay on the roster.
It's possible that Jackson's best chance could be through special teams. Mike Zimmer said fifth-round pick Ihmir Smith-Mariette "has a long way to go" in that area on Monday while hinting that special teams could be Dan Chisnea's path to making the roster.
With K.J. Osborn, Dede Westbrook and Chad Beebe also on the roster, Jackson's chance to go into the regular season with the team appears slim. But with Jefferson out with a shoulder injury, Jackson should get reps as the Vikings prepare for their preseason opener against Denver on Saturday.