CBS Sports’ Bold Prediction for the 2023 Vikings

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It’s not the boldest prediction imaginable, but it’ll do.

CBS Sports‘ Jeff Kerr authored 10 bold NFL predictions for 2023, and the Minnesota Vikings made the cut. Well, one player did — Justin Jefferson.

CBS Sports’ Bold Prediction for the 2023 Vikings

Jefferson led the NFL in receiving yards last year, won the Offensive Player of the Year award, and flirted with breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season record for receiving yards, too. According to Kerr, Jefferson will once again lead the league in receiving yards.

Bold Prediction for
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Kerr explained, “The NFL hasn’t had a player lead the NFL in receiving yards in consecutive seasons since Calvin Johnson in 2011 and 2012. Thanks to how Kevin O’Connell runs an offense, Jefferson is primed to have another monster season catching the football. Jefferson had 17 more targets in 2022 than he did in 2021, which led to 193 more receiving yards than the previous year.”

The Vikings also added wide receiver Jordan Addison from the 2023 NFL Draft, which will either free up Jefferson even more in Year Four — or cut into his fancy statistics.

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“With Jefferson being one of the NFL’s best route runners, O’Connell is going to maximize the opportunities to get him the football and make plays. The Vikings offense is perfectly suited for Jefferson to get a lot of targets, as he’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be in this league (first player to have 4,500 receiving yards after three seasons),” Kerr concluded.

When the 2023 season begins, Jefferson will have started his career with the same quarterback in all four seasons. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is under contract for just one more season, and Jefferson has feasted due to Cousins’ consistency, accuracy, and durability.

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Too, Jefferson is just plain marvelous. Only recently did opposing defensive coordinators figure out how to tame the 23-year-old, stacking coverage and “selling out” to slow his production. And that’s what Addison added in the draft. On the Sundays when teams go hell-or-high-water to neutralize Jefferson, Addison, in theory, should create a new dimension for the Vikings passing offense.

Moreover, Jefferson will likely be the owner of a large, record-breaking contract when September rolls around. He and the Vikings are in the middle of extension talks, as the LSU alumnus’ deal expires at the end of 2024, two years from now. But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has indicated he’ll wrap Jefferson up for the long haul well before that.

Jefferson will turn 24 in June.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by