Is Justin Jefferson enough? What does he bring to the Vikings?
By Kartik Mathur
Jefferson caught a staggering 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Tigers in 2019. His versatility will help add an interesting dimension to the Minnesota offense. With the loss of Steffon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Jefferson will carry a heavy load for the Vikings.
He has the Versatility
Jefferson has a unique route-running style; with head fakes and hesitation moves but is consistently able to get open and present a target for his quarterback. Justin Jefferson ran 575 of his 583 total routes from the slot a season ago with LSU. His production was second to none, as he led the nation with 109 slot receptions and 1,518 slot receiving yards. He will take snaps in the slot position but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmers said he would have different roles.
"He was able to line up in all the different positions on the offense and run all kinds of different routes " -Mike Zimmers on Jefferson
He has the speed
Justin ran a 4.43 at the 40 yard dash. He's an entire package, as he offers plenty of speed to leave corners in dust on deep routes or pick up extra yards after the catch. The pairing of Thielen and Jefferson will give Kirk Cousins two skilled route-runners with the versatility to move all over the formation. He also had a catch rate of 91% in 2019 proving to barely drop passes.
He is an aggressive receiver
He can create a deep threat while also being an aggressive receiver. At 6'1" and 200 pounds, he has the ability to elevate and make contested catches through contact. At the combine, he recorded a 37.5-inch Vertical Jump and 126-inch Broad Jump. Last year, Jefferson caught 49 of his 53 targets that came from passes thrown between 1 and 9 yards downfield. Hence being highly successful in jump balls especially in the endzone.
A good chemistry between the receivers
" I’m excited honestly to get in the same room with Jefferson when this is all over with and get on the field and just try to help out where I can " - Adam Thielen
Jefferson is already being compared to great route runners such as Micheal Thomas, with abilities like Julio Jones. Mike Zimmer is already keen to see Justin along with Thielen and Kyle Rudpolph. Along with Dalvin Cook in the backfield, and Kirk making the calls, the Vikings have a chance to make it to the superbowl after 43 years and can they win it all?