Insane Stat Highlights Justin Jefferson’s Dominance

Justin Jefferson Can Still
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Insane Stat Highlights Jefferson’s Dominance

In 2020, the Vikings traded away superstar receiver Stefon Diggs and somehow upgraded the position because of the move. They got in exchange for Diggs the first-round pick of the Bills, pick 22 overall in the 2020 draft. That class was loaded with talent at the wideout position, a class highlighted by CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs.

Most had a few players in the second tier, but an LSU receiver was widely regarded as the number four in the draft, outside of a select group that had Justin Jefferson going higher. The Eagles, however, thought differently about the class and selected Jalen Reagor with the 21st pick of the first round. The TCU receiver had some explosive highlight plays on his tape, but he was nowhere close to Jefferson’s skills.

The draft pick immediately raised eyebrows, and Eagles fans were not happy. The Vikings, especially Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer, loved the choice and were even caught laughing about the previous selection.

Insane Stat Highlights Jefferson's Dominance
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Insane Stat Highlights Jefferson’s Dominance

Jefferson needed two games to crack the starting lineup after having a weird offseason because of COVID restrictions and dropped 175 yards on the Titans in Week 3. Fast forward to Year 3, Jefferson is hunting records and seems unstoppable. He’s already broken multiple NFL and franchise records. Some numbers are almost too good to be true.

Jefferson was the record-holder for the most yards in the rookie season until former college teammate Ja’Marr Chase broke it just one year later. In the same season, Jefferson set the new mark for the most yards in the first two career seasons, recording even more than Odell Beckham Jr. in his first two campaigns. A few weeks ago, Jefferson set the same record for players in the first three seasons, previously held by Vikings legend Randy Moss.

Now, Jefferson is closing in on the best of all players in the first four seasons of their career. He needs only 874 more yards to pass Michael Thomas, who’s first in that category. The insane part is that he potentially has 20 more games to achieve that. Jefferson would only need nine games to do that if he’s keeping up his career average of 98.7. The 98.7 are also an NFL record for the most receiving yards per game.

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The wideout is quietly even getting better. He somehow turned into one of the best players at hauling in contested catches, which he drew some criticism for earlier in the season and his career. Jefferson is a complete receiver, as he possesses excellent athleticism, his routes are poetry in motion, and his hands are elite. In addition, he is somehow putting up those numbers against many double teams.

Another mostly underrated attribute, one that is certainly necessary to set all of those records, is his ability to stay healthy. Huge hits might knock him out for a play or two, but fortunately, he has not missed a game in his career.

The next record Jefferson will likely break is the single-season receiving record in Vikings franchise history. He only needs ten yards to break the record Randy Moss set in 2003 and has three more games to go. The NFL record for receiving yards is also in play, as he needs 342 more yards. He’s currently on pace to break Calvin Johnson’s record by 6 yards.

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Jefferson is a true franchise player. Most of the time, those are quarterbacks, but the Vikings found one of the best receivers in NFL history and should make sure to extend his contract as soon as possible. That contract will most likely break all the previous numbers of wideouts, and not a single person will complain about it.

He would probably put up huge numbers on most teams, but his connection with Kirk Cousins is something special to watch. Jefferson could play a role when it’s time to decide who the future Vikings cornerback will be.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt