The Vikings didn't draft their future quarterback, so they helped out their current quarterback.

With the 23rd pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Vikings chose USC receiver Jordan Addison, a polished player available to them because so many teams ahead of them made unpredictable and perhaps unwise selections.

With the Vikings on the clock, cameras showed consternation on the faces of a few team officials late, perhaps because they were contemplating trading their pick, with so much talent available late in the first round.

Minutes later, their offensive coaches were celebrating and hugging. A team with Justin Jefferson, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL, brought in Addison to give them a talented set of receivers.

The receiving depth chart: Jefferson, K.J. Osborn and Addison, with T.J. Hockenson as an excellent receiving tight end.

Addison effectively replaces the departed Adam Thielen. If the Vikings judged Addison wisely, he should be able to easily outproduce the version of Thielen that the Vikings employed the last few years.

Thielen did not reach 800 receiving yards the last two seasons, and hasn't reached 1,000 yards receiving since 2018.

When the Vikings traded for Hockenson during the 2022 season, he immediately became Cousins' second-favorite target. Addison should compete with Hockenson for that distinction.

In 2021 at Pitt, Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best college receiver, as a sophomore.

Addison was less productive at USC because of ankle and foot injuries.

The Vikings had a clear choice with the 23rd pick: Improve their receiving corps or take a quality player at another position of need: cornerback.

With the 24th pick, the New York Giants chose Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, who could have immediately upgraded the Vikings' defense.

In general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first draft last year, his first two picks went for defensive backs, safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.

He could have easily invested more in the Vikings' faltering defense. Instead, he went for a talent that fits into coach Kevin O'Connell's preferred lineup, which features a three-receiver set.

If the Vikings eventually trade running back Dalvin Cook, which is expected, the Vikings' offense would look a lot like Rams coach Sean McVay's offense, which won the Super Bowl two years ago with O'Connell as offensive coordinator.

That is: One superstar wideout, complementary receiving talent, and a fairly anonymous and affordable group of running backs.

The most tantalizing possibility was removed early in the evening.

The Vikings were thought to be high on quarterback Anthony Richardson, and not on Will Levis. The true drama of the night for Vikings fans was wondering if Richardson could slide far enough in the draft that the Vikings would be tempted to trade up to draft him.

The Colts made the Vikings' night much less expensive, much less interesting and much less productive, taking Richardson with the fourth pick. But the speculation about the Vikings' interest in Richardson is well-grounded and revealing.

The Vikings' current brain trust has said many nice things about Cousins, and Cousins rewarded them with clutch play and 13 victories in 2022.

Then the Vikings chose not to extend Cousins' contract beyond the 2023 season, and chose not to pay him as much as the Giants are paying Daniel Jones, a lesser passer whose crowning achievement is beating Cousins and the Vikings in a first-round playoff game.

Their actions tell the story: The Vikings like Cousins. They do not love Cousins. They can promote him as a top-10 NFL quarterback while they pursue his successor.

The Colts did well, taking a remarkable talent at the most important position in sports.

The Vikings will likely be left to rely on Cousins for this year, and if they can't find his successor by the end of next April, they may be forced to sign him to a long-term deal whether they want to or not.