Ryan Clark’s Claim about Justin Jefferson Is Flatly False

Jefferson Mad
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A couple of months ago, former NFLer Keyshawn Johnson left Justin Jefferson off his Top 5 NFL WR rankings, and that caused a rumpus.

Ryan Clark’s Claim about Justin Jefferson Is Flatly False

After that, Pat McAfee explained that Dalvin Cook was still very much an elite football player and handed him most of the credit for Minnesota’s 2022 offensive performance. McAfee said, “Dalvin Cook was their offense, like the reason why I think Justin Jefferson has all the things is because Dalvin Cook is in the backfield.”

In June, a Green Bay Packers podcaster, Bruce Irons from Packers For the Win, tweeted a bizarre opinion, too, about Jefferson, “Christian Watson has a higher ceiling than Justin Jefferson.”

On CBS radio last week, the Maggie & Perloff Show, Andrew Perloff called Jefferson a ‘system wide receiver’ after the Vikings wideout snatched the No. 2 ranking in the NFL Top 100 voted on by players. “I think he’s awesome, but I do think he’s a bit of a system guy, so No. 2 on this list makes no sense,” Perloff claimed.

Claim about Justin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Perloff continued, “I love Justin Jefferson, but he’s definitely a product of Kirk Cousins and that offense. He’s a bit of a system guy.”

And the latest Jefferson take? Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens is more talented than Jefferson, according to former Steelers defender and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark laughs during a live taping of ESPN’s “First Take” at Florida A&M University’s new Will Packer Performing Arts Amphitheater as part of the school’s homecoming festivities Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. © Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“George Pickens is much more talented than Justin Jefferson,” Clark said Wednesday. Here’s the video:


Clark defended — or attempted to clarify the statement on the X app, formerly known as Twitter — “Jettas the best we got, but GP’s measurables are more impressive. Bigger, taller, stronger, more physical, physical gifted, faster, more explosive, jumps higher… Doesn’t mean he will ever be what JJ is, but Pickens is a more physically gifted player.”

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Pickens tabulated 52 receptions for 801 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2022. That’s a wonderful statline, especially for a rookie, but it was dwarfed in 2020 by Jefferson’s 88 catches for 1,400 yards and 7 scores.

The second-year Steeler is probably more talented than Vikings wide receivers K.J. Osborn and Jalen Reagor, for example, but coming after the top dog in Jefferson — the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year — simply doesn’t check out. In fact, it unnecessarily sets the bar stratospherically high for Pickens.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Clark played in the NFL for 13 years and is a tremendous NFL analyst. But it seems his Steelers roots hoodwinked him on the Jefferson matter.

He also claimed in June that the Vikings are eager to get rid of quarterback Kirk Cousins.

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).

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