Is Justin Jefferson The Next 'Stefon Diggs' For Minnesota?


Just over one month after trading Stefon Diggs, the Minnesota Vikings select Justin Jefferson, WR from LSU, with the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

CARLOS GONZALEZ, STAR TRIBUNE

After being drafted from the best receiver class to recent date, Justin Jefferson was added to Minnesota for many reasons, one was to replace Stefon Diggs.


Adam Thielen is the clear #1 for Minnesota, but what about #2? Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson are similar players when it comes to size and style. Both are 6'0-6'1 and have speed and strong hands. They both played on the outside and sometimes in the slot, also both run all types of routes. In his college days at LSU, Jefferson stretched the field and caught some attention so Burrow could throw the ball to a short route or they could run the ball. In his three years at LSU, Jefferson caught 165 passes for 2445 yards and 24 touchdowns and averaged a career total of 14.3 yards per play from scrimmage.


Justin climbs the ladder and breaks tackles just like Diggs did with the Vikings. The long limbs are also another similarity. He ranked top 20 in each category he was in last season at LSU. Jefferson has the potential to be a #1 but as for now he is sitting behind Adam Thielen for that spot.




Creator: Jason Getz | Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

What you can expect form Jefferson in 2020 is an introduction year, slow start but as the season progresses so will his playing time, targets, catches, and production. The rookie wideout has a bright year setup for him, especially if RB Dalvin Cook gets hurt, then Kirk Cousins will be throwing. A new offensive coordinator in Minnesota, former Texans and Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak has offensive coordinator experience with the Broncos and Ravens. Kubiak takes pride in his receivers, he was the head coach of Denver when they won Super Bowl 50, a team that had pretty heavy receivers.


LSU runs a spread offense, after years of a heavy run style of offense. Kubiak loved his receivers in Houston and Denver. Jefferson is one of the best wideouts on the team and Kubiak will use him like Emanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas combined. Kubiak was the assistant HC for Minnesota in 2019, he's family with the offense but lost and added a few pieces. With Kubiak as assistant HC in 2019, the Vikings averaged 384.4 yards per game and around 26 points per game, both were top ten ranks in the league last year.



https://thevikingage.com/2020/05/21/minnesota-vikings-5-players-break-2020/2/

Jefferson will have to fight for the #2 spot. 2nd-year WR Bisi Johnson is emerging as a favorite to land the #2 WR spot on the depth chart. The 2019 7th round selection from Colorado is having an amazing camp, which is pushing Jefferson to the #3. Rookie receivers always start off slow, and as the year progresses they get more reps and opportunities from the coaches and QBs and start building chemistries. Teams tend to take things slow with rookie receivers sometimes, that's what seems to be going on in Minnesota. With the lack of OTAs and mini camp, most rookies all around the league will be eased into the playbook, unless proved otherwise.


Jefferson could start out as a starting slot receiver in 2020, if Minnesota goes with a 3WR set. Justin has the speed and agility to be in the slot, put him in open space on a crossing or slant route and he has speed to get the team 8-12 yards. Jefferson may not be the "Stefon Diggs" right away, but he has potential be as good in the long run.

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