Once-Promising Vikings WR Is Making a Case for a Roster Spot with the 2022 Super Bowl Champs

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (15) gains yardage against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Vikings selected Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, many had hopes for the Vikings WR eventually becoming a major piece of the offense one day.

However, no such event would take place. After hauling in 5 receptions for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns during his rookie season, Smith-Marsette was part of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s purge of that 2021 Draft class.

Since then, Smith-Marsette spent the 2022 season with both the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, and he won a Super Bowl with Kansas City despite appearing in only two games. Heading into the 2023 season, the former Vikings receiver is making a strong case to remain with the Super Bowl champs.

Vikings WR
Aug 19, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kyler McMichael (48) attempts to tackle Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (82) during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend, the Chiefs took on the Arizona Cardinals, and Smith-Marsette put together 4 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown during the afternoon. Rookie teammate Rashee Rice also got the better of Arizona’s defense, catching 8 passes for 96 yards.

Currently, Kansas City has one of the more impressive WR rooms in the NFL in terms of its depth. Here’s a look at where Smith-Marsette currently sits on the roster, and who he is competing with for a spot on the 53-man roster:

WR1: Kadarius Toney
WR2: Skyy Moore
WR3: Rashee Rice
WR4: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
WR5: Richie James
WR6: Justin Watson
WR7: Justyn Ross
WR8: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
WR9: Nikko Remigio
WR10: Kekoa Crawford
WR11: Cornell Powell
WR12: Ty Scott
WR13: Ty Fryfogle

Aug. 19: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (82) dives into the end zone for a touchdown past Arizona Cardinals linebacker Ezekiel Turner (47).

Kadarius Toney emerged as a major portion of Kansas City’s offense down the stretch of the season and throughout the playoffs. He looks like the WR1 for Kansas City heading into 2023, which is interesting considering, like Smith-Marsette, he was a reclamation project by the Chiefs.

After the Giants drafted Toney in the first round of the 2021 Draft, he disappointed in New York’s offense and was promptly shipped off to Kansas City early in the 2023 season. During the playoffs, he caught 7 passes for 50 yards and a Super Bowl touchdown.

Smith-Marsette didn’t get a chance to make much of an impact with Kansas City last year, playing just 12 snaps with the offense. However, he is making a strong impact with the Chiefs this summer, and he could be in line to stick around with the reigning Super Bowl champs again this season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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