Justin Jefferson’s Placement Is Special

The Vikings Can Afford
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The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2023 season looking to build on success from a year ago. That team made a playoff appearance but quickly exited and was hardly a juggernaut considering the number of close contests. They’ll need leaders like Justin Jefferson to take another step forward.

Justin Jefferson’s Placement Is Special

By now, anyone with a pulse that has seen NFL action knows that Justin Jefferson is among the most talented players in the league. He is unquestionably the best wide receiver in the sport, and his abilities give starting quarterback Kirk Cousins an incredible amount of support.

What we have seen this offseason is more than a handful of publications starting to make that known nationwide as well. Joining the “99 Club” in Madden for the first time in his career, Jefferson himself talked of the excitement such an honor brings. Not only is he the best wideout in the game, but he’s also one of only five players to receive such an honor in Madden 24.

Placement Is
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Following Madden’s lead, the NFL Top 100 has Jefferson ranked as the second-best player in the NFL. The players vote on that list, and it is clear how highly regarded Jefferson is amongst his peers. The top five include a pair of Chiefs in Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Jalen Hurts and Nick Bosa also make the cut.

It should not be overlooked just how special the honor is for Jefferson. Not only does his play on the field separate him in a big way, but his opponents have taken notice of just how truly dynamic of a talent he is. Jefferson is still just 24 years old and entering his fourth NFL season. It’s shocking to believe there is more development ability there, but trajectory would suggest that to be the case.

A year after flirting with Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving record, Jefferson returns with a new cast around him. Cousins remains, but T.J. Hockenson will be fully integrated into the offense, as will Alexander Mattison and Jordan Addison. His opportunities for explosive plays could rise as defenders are forced to account for an even more dynamic Kevin O’Connell offense.

Vikings Not in Top
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When the Vikings pivoted to a more forward-thinking head coach in Kevin O’Connell, it was always assumed the passing game would be highlighted. How exactly that would manifest remained to be seen, but now we can tell Jefferson is the chief beneficiary. The Vikings have long known they have a superstar, and the league has told them so as well.

Jefferson has ascended to these heights in a system geared towards his abilities. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has seen recent praise from players and has been placed among the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is an often overlooked asset for Minnesota, but his abilities have helped to put Jefferson in positions of success.

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As the 2023 season gets underway, Jefferson will be looking to keep Minnesota atop the NFC North. With Aaron Rodgers departing the division and the Detroit Lions looking to right a poor defense from 2022, the division is as open as ever. The Vikings will have plenty of competition gunning for them, and they aren’t seen as the favorite to begin the year.

Still, the Minnesota Vikings roster the best player in the NFC North, and Justin Jefferson toting that honor is special.

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.