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From Age 3 to No. 3, Jordan Addison's Journey to Vikings Took Patience & Belief


EAGAN, Minn. – Jordan Addison is no stranger to waiting.

On Thursday night, he enjoyed the anticipation, taking in the atmosphere of the 2023 NFL Draft with family members while waiting for the Vikings to call.

Minnesota went on the clock, and the seconds started ticking. But he didn't lose faith.

"That moment was crazy. I'm glad I came to the draft to experience it. Just waiting for that call, I had a lot of emotions going through my body," Addison said. "Once I finally got it, I was really excited, just seeing my family smile and jump up and down. It was just a special moment.

"The last time I was on a visit [with an NFL team] was here," he later added. "They told me, if I'm on that board, they were gonna grab me. So as soon as Minnesota came up, I just kept checking my phone. The last two minutes came up, and they called me."

He wasn't quite as patient 18 years ago, though.

Addison explained he was just 3 years old when he asked his mom to play football.

"Next year," she told him.

So when he turned 4, Addison asked again.

"Next year," she told him again.

"I'm like, 'You told me that last year,' " Addison recounted. "Then she broke it down to me, like, I had to be 5."

He added with a smile: "Once I put those pads on, it was over with."

Addison has spent most of his life dreaming about being in the NFL, and that dream is coming to fruition before his eyes.

He arrived at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center Friday afternoon, less than 15 hours after walking across the Kansas City Stage to hug NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Addison donned a Vikings black polo and camo-themed baseball cap, along with Givenchy pants and Chanel shoes. When he greeted media members and posed for a photo with the Wilf family ownership group, General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, Addison looked natural holding up a purple No. 3 jersey.

When he slips that jersey over his pads for game day, Addison feels a sense of responsibility to continue the legacy of celebrated receivers in Minnesota. He's excited to join fourth-year phenom Justin Jefferson.

It's only fitting, then, that Addison received a FaceTime call from Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter while touring the Vikings locker room.

"A young receiver needs a veteran to be able to teach him the NFL game and teach him how to get around the team and how to get around the city. All right? I'll make sure you have all my information," Carter told Addison. "We've got a legacy there, as far as having two great receivers play at one time. Man, we're gonna take care of you. We're gonna make sure that you reach your potential, make sure you got the right shoes on, the right things going in your head, feeding you.

"Man, you need to really drop on your knees and thank God, 'cause you dropped in a great spot," Carter added. "The offense, you can play the slot, you can play outside. They are ready for you to put on a show."

Addison told media members he's up for the challenge.

"It's a prestigious place for receivers," he said. "You're all known for having more than one great receiver, and I'm just glad I get to add to this great receiver group that you've already got."

Addison noted that he's followed the success of fellow Maryland native Stefon Diggs with the Vikings and now the Bills.

"Stefon Diggs was around my area, so he was the top receiver coming out of Maryland [when I was in high school]," he said. "Just the way he ran routes, and his mindset about everything, just kind of shifted my perspective.

"I was a quarterback at first," Addison continued, "so coming out of youth league, I played quarterback. And then I started looking up to [Diggs and others], and that's when I switched my position to receiver. Then I never looked back."

Even after making that transition, though, Addison was offered a scholarship by Notre Dame to play cornerback, which he also had experience at. Of course, he didn't accept.

"I ain't never considered that," he said before adding with a smile, "Well, I did, but my brother had told me, 'You need the ball in your hands.' So I just stuck with the offensive side, and I'm happy to say it paid off."

It certainly has.

View portrait shots of Vikings WR Jordan Addison who was selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Addison is thrilled to be in Minnesota and to start working on an offense that features pass catchers like Jefferson, K.J. Osborn and tight end T.J. Hockenson.

Whatever role he's asked to play in O'Connell's system, he's all-in.

"I just leave that up to the coaches and make sure when I come in here, I can run routes all day and I'm ready to work," Addison said. "But just coming into a great receiver group as a young receiver or a young rookie, that's what you want, a lot of great receivers that have already proven themselves that I can go learn from."

And don't forget the QB.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tweeted a welcome to the receiver Thursday night and later texted him directly.

"Kirk sent me a real warm, welcoming message," Addison said. "I'm looking forward to meeting all the guys."