Justin Jefferson Finally Getting His Madden Due

There is really no denying that the Minnesota Vikings Justin Jefferson was the best wide receiver in the NFL this past season. He was on pace to set a single-season receiving yardage record, and EA Sports never gave him his due. Until now.

Recently released, EA Sports put out their Madden 23 Team of the Year. The first wide receiver on the list was none other than Vikings superstar Justin Jefferson. After balling out all season in Kevin O’Connell’s pass-first offense, the purple star is finally getting his due. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to his ratings and won’t until the next iteration of the game.

Justin Jefferson Finally Getting His Madden Due

Despite weekly roster updates, Madden 23 never advanced Jefferson past a 96 overall rating. That placed him fifth overall in the game. He comes in behind Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, and Stefon Diggs. There isn’t much of a case to suggest any of those players were better than him this year, and there is a case to be made that a few were much worse. A.J. Brown, who was Madden’s selection for the other wide receiver on the Team of the Year, is just a 91 overall.

Getting His Madden
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs after a catch during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

It is worth noting that Madden typically takes a multi-year approach to its rating system, and they don’t make aggressive changes during the season. That said, there hasn’t been a time since Jefferson entered the league that he wasn’t a notable playmaker. For the Vikings, it wasn’t just 2023 where he broke out, and he’s already ascended to the conversation of being a future Hall of Famer.

Heading into next season, Jefferson will almost assuredly be the top wide receiver in the game, and there is a decent case to be made for him as the cover athlete. He will be in the “99 Club” if the ratings are at all accurate, and he’ll be more than featured in Minnesota’s offense. With Kirk Cousins now searching for a second wideout after the release of Adam Thielen, Jefferson will be relied upon to carry even more of the load.

1 Guy Wants to Put
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on before the game between the Vikings and the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Next season both Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell will put a substantial stamp on the Vikings roster. Plenty of veterans will be jettisoned this offseason, and a rebuild will be underway with a goal of continuing to remain competitive. Coming off of a 13-win season, the Vikings will need to put their best foot forward if they hope to avoid a slide that could be attributed to little more than luck this season.

Justin Jefferson Quietly
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates his touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

No matter what happens, Jefferson is in line for a 99 overall rating as much as a payday. Time to get it done, Madden, whether the Team of the Year makes it happen or not.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.