One Peer Isn’t Sold on Justin Jefferson as NFL’s Best WR

Justin Jefferson
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Through the rising popularity of podcasts, football fans can hear their favorite players on more platforms every year. Retired and active players are starting their own shows, leading to more quality content from actual NFL players. Patrick Peterson, who just departed from the Vikings, is a good example of a player spreading knowledge via his podcast.

The I Am Athlete podcast is another example. It was founded by former Broncos and Bears wideout Brandon Marshall who went up against the Vikings a few times. He invited another former foe, Davante Adams, onto the show, and Adams named his top wideouts in the NFL.

One Peer Isn’t Sold on Justin Jefferson as NFL’s Best WR

NFLs best Receiver
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

In a similar situation just one year ago, Jefferson ranked himself second right behind Adams, but he added the claim that he would surpass him in the 2022 campaign. Adams wasn’t quite as humble and put himself on top of the list, but he still gave Jefferson a lot of credit.

Based on what I’m doing and what I’ve done at a high level for I feel like the most consistent amount of time of anybody that’s playing currently, I still can’t say that anybody is better than me at my position in the league.

Davante Adams, I Am Athlete podcast

Adams came into the league in 2014 as a second-round pick out of Fresno State, where he played with Derek Carr. He needed a couple of seasons to get going but has been phenomenal ever since. Adam is leading the league in receiving yards since 2016 and also in touchdowns. His TD numbers are impressive, as he recorded 83 in that span, 17 more than Mike Evans, the second player on the list.

It’s hard to argue with someone of his caliber when he views himself as the league’s top wideout. He is a three-time first-team All-Pro. He made it every year since 2020 and went to six consecutive Pro Bowls. The Raiders wideout led the league in touchdown catches in 2020 and 2022.

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His 13 touchdown grabs against the Vikings are the most of any player ever against the organization. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, and Jerry Rice each had ten. Just last year, Adams was traded to the Raiders and played a full season without Aaron Rodgers for the first time in his professional career. He still recorded 1,516 yards, the third-most in the NFL, and a league-leading 14 scores. He put the Vikings star second on his list.

If I left myself out, or if I go 1b, I would go Jets [Justin Jefferson] right now. He’s too consistent, he’s making really really tough grabs, he got a different swag to him…he revolutionized the celebration game with the griddy.

Davante Adams, I Am Athlete podcast

Jefferson came into the league in 2020 and is leading the NFL in receiving yards since that day. He has fired up almost 400 more yards than Adams, who’s second. Marshall asked Adams what makes Jefferson nice:

Writer Claims Justin
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Like I said, it’s the consistency, it’s the dawg in him. He plays the game very fast and he keeps getting better. We saw what he did in Year 1, and he came out and wowed us, then he did it again. Just to keep doing it and getting better. You see him getting better with his routes…I’m definitely a fan of him.

Davante Adams, I Am Athlete podcast

The Vikings’ wideout led the league in receiving yards and receptions. He became the youngest ever to lead the NFL in both categories, breaking an 86-year-old record set by Packers legend Don Hutson. That resulted in his first big trophy. He is the reigning Offensive Player of the Year.

He also broke the single-season Vikings records for the most yards and catches, breaking the records of Randy Moss and Cris Carter. And he did all that without a second dangerous receiver to take pressure away from him. Defenses were able to focus entirely on him without getting punished.

Vikings Arrange Meeting with Top Receiver Prospect
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Jefferson is due to sign a huge contract extension. He became eligible for one this offseason, and the Vikings would be foolish to let him walk in a couple of years. Adams is currently the second-highest-paid WR in the league, with an annual salary of $28 million. He is only trailing Tyreek Hill, who is making $30 million a year. Hill came right after Jefferson on Adams’ list.

The difference between the trio is that Jefferson is 23, while Adams is 31, and Hill is 29. Jefferson has many more years left if he can stay healthy. For that reason, and because he is still improving, he will reset the WR market and become the best-paid receiver in the league soon.

In the upcoming season, Jefferson wants to defend his receiving title. The Vikings invested in a new counterpart for him when they drafted Jordan Addison in the first round. He is supposed to draw some attention to himself to open up the field for Jefferson.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt