EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have added strong depth to their wide receivers room just as U.S. Bank Vikings Training Camp is set to open.
Minnesota announced Monday that it has signed Dede Westbrook, who is expected to compete for a spot on the roster behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
The 27-year-old will battle with the likes of Chad Beebe, Bisi Johnson, rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette and others for playing time at the third wide receiver spot.
Westbrook will see a familiar face in Purple, as Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell was Westbrook's position coach from 2017-2020 in Jacksonville.
Westbook missed nearly all of the 2020 season with a torn ACL, finishing with one catch for a 4-yard gain, but he was productive in the three seasons prior to the injury.
View photos of Vikings W Dede Westbrook who recently signed with the team.
He had 159 catches for 1,716 yards and nine scores in those three years. His best season came in 2018 when he had 66 catches for 717 yards and five touchdowns.
Westbrook matched that receptions total in 2019 while adding 660 yards and three scores.
Westbrook also has plenty of special teams ability, primarily as a punt returner. He has 47 career punt returns for 461 yards. His lone punt return for a score came from 74 yards out against Washington in 2018.
Westbrook has averaged 9.8 yards per punt return in his career. The Vikings averaged 4.3 yards per punt return in 2020, a stat that ranked last in the league.
The 2017 fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma also has seven career kick returns for 126 yards.
With the Sooners, Westbrook recorded 80 catches for 1,524 yards and a school-record 17 scores in 2016, winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's most outstanding receiver. He was also one of five Heisman Trophy finalists along with Oklahoma teammate Baker Mayfield.
In order to make room for Westbrook, the Vikings waived sixth-round draft pick Jaylen Twyman because of a non-football injury.