Minnesota Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson asserted that he’s not simply the most effective rookie large receivers, however the most effective receivers within the league, interval.
Jefferson broke the rookie receiving yards report final season with 1,400 air yards and have become the primary participant since Randy Moss in 1998 to earn All-Professional recognition as receiver of their first 12 months.
Because the fifth large receiver chosen within the 2020 NFL Draft, Jefferson carried a chip on his shoulder all through the season and, even nonetheless, has detractors of his greatness.
Nonetheless, Bleacher Report gave the 21-year-old excessive reward, rating Jefferson among the many high seven large receivers within the league.
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Jefferson Makes Splash as No. 7-Ranked Receiver by Bleacher Report
Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report took the chance to evaluate the panorama at large receiver this offseason, rating the highest seven large receivers within the league together with a number of honorable mentions.
Jefferson cracked No. 7 on Gagnon’s listing, forward of veteran honorable mentions like Keenan Allen, A.J. Brown, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and even a 32-year-old Julio Jones.
Right here’s Gagnon’s case for Jefferson:
You would possibly argue that we’re crowning Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson too quickly, nevertheless it’s actually laborious to argue with a 1,400-yard rookie season. And that occurred even supposing the 21-year-old was held to only 70 whole yards in his first two video games.
Solely two receivers beat that 1,400-yard mark, and solely three averaged extra yards per goal than Jefferson (11.2), who dropped solely two of the 125 passes thrown his method and was tied for the league lead with 23 20-plus-yard receptions.
In a run-oriented offense, the 2020 first-round choose scored 4 touchdowns on deep balls, rating behind solely three receivers in that class.
Put merely, he has already grow to be an elite playmaker. And that occurred in a rookie season that contained virtually no time for preparation on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now think about how far more dominant Jefferson can grow to be as he will get extra acclimated within the 2021 offseason.
Right here’s the rest of Gagnon’s listing, all of that are elite firm Jefferson has landed amongst:
- Tyreek Hill, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
- Davante Adams, Inexperienced Bay Packers
- DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
- Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Payments
- Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
- DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Jefferson May very well be Thought-about within the High 5
Whereas Bleacher Report’s rankings supplied excessive reward for Jefferson, it might have been a bit conservative of his potential.
Professional Soccer Focus (PFF) just lately ranked the highest 101 gamers within the NFL and ranked Jefferson No. 15 — forward of Diggs at No. 16. He was the second-ranked large receiver by PFF, trailing solely Adams who was ranked the fifth-best participant within the league.
“The Vikings struck gold with Justin Jefferson: He wasn’t simply the perfect rookie receiver in 2020, however he additionally set rookie data and was the most effective first-year receivers in NFL historical past. Making that each one the extra unbelievable is that Jefferson was the fifth receiver off the board within the draft, and the Vikings barely performed him through the first two video games earlier than seemingly stumbling upon what that they had,” PFF senior editor Sam Monson wrote. “Jefferson completed the 12 months trailing solely Davante Adams in yards per route run (2.66) and did as a lot injury as he did regardless of rating simply 15th in targets.”
Jefferson rating second in yards per route run is proof of his effectivity and worth to the offense when he’s on the sphere. Whereas Diggs was the best large receiver within the league final season, main the NFL in receiving yards (1,459) and receptions (120), Jefferson proved extra environment friendly, presenting a case he may simply be among the many high 5 receivers within the league.
|Participant||Accomplished Air Yards (per goal)||Yards After Catch (per goal)||Yards Per Goal|
Jefferson can additional solidify his stake as a high large receiver within the league in his sophomore season, the place he’ll have a real offseason to proceed his growth.
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