Justin Jefferson not only considering a third consecutive excellent season with Minnesota Vikings, but is also looking to establish himself as the best wide receiver in the league. It’s a title he believes he deserves Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro Davante Adams – for now.
“I’ll be the best receiver in the NFL after this year” Jefferson told Complex. “I definitely have to give it to Davante Adams from now on, he’s so crazy and dynamic on the field. His route is crazy, so I definitely have to give it to him right now, but I’m pretty sure after this year it’s going to be me.”
How exactly does he plan to do this?
“[I’m] always working on my game,” Jefferson said. “I’m always working on route running, I can always work on catching the ball, so just trying to improve my skills in all those different categories.”
Jefferson — the No. 22 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft — had two solid seasons in the NFL, totaling 196 receptions, 3,016 yards and 17 touchdowns.
23-year-old professional bowler, who has already expressed his desire to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fameaspires to be “legendary” like the players who have influenced him over the years.
“I’m just trying to be around those greats, trying to be around them in the Hall of Fame,” Jefferson said. “I didn’t expect to be at the top of the league so soon, but all the hard work I’ve done and everything I’ve sacrificed in my career and in my life to make myself the player I am, it’s definitely a blessing “.
He went on to say he doesn’t carry a chip on his shoulder for being the fifth receiver drafted in 2020.
“Right now, my stats prove that I’m the best receiver to come out of this draft, so I guess you can say I’m pretty much proving my point … that I’m the best receiver in this draft class, “, Jefferson said. “I just have to keep going, keep doing more things, keep improving myself and improving my craft.”
The four receivers taken before Jefferson in the 2020 draft were Henry Ruggs, Denver Jerry Judy, Dallas CeeDee Lamb and Philadelphia Jalen Reagor. Jefferson boasts more targets, receptions, receiving yards, receiving yards and touchdowns than any of those four. In fact, Lamb is the only one who comes remotely close.
Since his debut in 2020, Jefferson’s 3,016 receiving yards not only leads the league, but is also the most in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history. He’s also the first player to rush for more than 1,400 yards in each of his first two seasons and needs just 1,148 yards this upcoming season to surpass Randy Moss (4,163 yards from 1998-2000) for most yards in his first three seasons player.
In 2021, the Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Jefferson produced a combined EPA of 80.7 — the change in expected value from the previous play to the next. It was the second-highest mark in the NFL Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl duet Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp (115.0 EPA), according to Next Generation Statistics.
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