PFF Analyst’s Weird Statement about WR Pecking Order

Nov 20, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Think Justin Jefferson has supplanted everybody as the NFL’s top wide receiver? Think again.

In the eyes of some, the top dog remains Davante Adams, a 30-year-old about to embark on his second season with the Las Vegas Raiders and 10th in the NFL overall.

PFF Analyst’s Weird Statement about WR Pecking Order

Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson unveiled his 2023 WR rankings last week, and Adams, not Jefferson, sat on the throne, a curious placement because Jefferson seemed to gain best-in-the-league credibility last year after winning Offensive Player of the Year.

Weird Statement about
Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

“Adams remains the king of receivers until somebody topples him,” Monson opined.

It is unclear what else Jefferson must do to topple Adams. Perhaps longevity.

The Raiders wideout fired up 1,516 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in Year One with the club, marking one of his best seasons to date. It was also Adams’ first time outside of a Green Bay Packers uniform, the team that drafted him in 2014.

Monson elaborated on Adams, “The masses think Justin Jefferson is the best receiver in the NFL, but I see no white towel thrown in on Adams’ career. Last season, his first without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Adams caught 100 passes for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns, six more than Jefferson. He averaged 2.45 yards per route run, and over the past three seasons he leads the NFL in PFF receiving grade (94.5) and yards per route run (2.67), with Jefferson placing second in each category.”

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson, 23, has torn the league apart since leaving LSU three years ago. He won the NFL’s OPOY award in 2022, owns the most receiving yards in NFL history by a player in his first three seasons, and already set the Vikings records for most receptions and receiving yards in a season. Too, Jefferson chased Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record and the elusive 2,000+ yards in a season mark for most of the 2022 regular season but came up short in the season’s final two games.

Monson was also high on Jefferson, “I’m not sure you can say Jefferson is better than Davante Adams, but he’s joined him atop the mountain. Jefferson is second to Adams in a whole variety of categories since entering the league and has been phenomenally productive for the Vikings in his young career.”

The NFL Got the Top Receiver Wrong
Dec 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) arrives at the stadium before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

“He is an outstanding route runner, can win contested catches and already has one of the greatest catches in NFL history on his resume — a fourth-and-18 one-handed snag against Buffalo,” Monson concluded while ranking Jefferson at No. 2 behind Adams.

Jefferson is expected to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history when his contract extension is reached sometime this summer.

Monson has a strange history with comments about Vikings players. After the Vikings orchestrated the largest comeback in NFL history over the Indianapolis Colts in December, Monson said about quarterback Kirk Cousins’ performance, “Cousins didn’t do that much in this game. Like he didn’t start driving this comeback with a bunch of big-time throws and amazing play and stuff.”

Cousins furnished 417 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in the 2nd Half alone. The yardage mark was the most by an NFL quarterback in the 2nd Half of a game in 45 years.

Tyreek Hill (No. 3, Dolphins), Ja’Marr Chase (No. 4, Bengals), and Stefon Diggs (No. 5, Bills) rounded out Monson’s Top 5 wideouts for 2023.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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