The Minnesota Vikings have an up and coming talent on their hands in wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson put together an impressive career at LSU and became a top NFL prospect going into the 2020 NFL draft.
During the Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans, Jefferson joined Vikings’ star Randy Moss in the record books.
Justin Jefferson making an impact during his time at LSU
Jefferson is a native of Louisiana and decided to stay in-state for college. During his freshman year, he did not record any receptions. As a sophomore, he emerged as LSU’s top receiver. He led the team in receptions (54), yards (875), and TDs (6). Jefferson showed tremendous improvement in one year and became one of the top receivers in all of college football.
His junior season was one to remember. He played and started in all 15 games for LSU and was named second-team All-SEC. Jefferson finished his junior season with a school-record 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 1,540 yards ranks third in school history, and his 18 touchdowns rank second. Jefferson and teammate Ja’Marr Chase were the most productive receiver duo in college football. The duo combined for 195 receptions for 3,320 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Jefferson finished his career 165 passes for 2,415 yards and 24 touchdowns. After not having any receptions during his freshman year, Jefferson was determined to become a top player, and he did just that. Jefferson had a big performance in the 2019 Peach Bowl, where he caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. His four touchdowns came in the first half and set a College Football Playoff game record and tied the record for any bowl game. He set himself up to be a top pick in the upcoming draft.
Justin Jefferson starting his career with the Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings selected Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. With the Vikings trading star receiver Stefon Diggs, they looked for a young and talented receiver and saw that Jefferson had a lot of potential. Jefferson signed a four-year $13.12 contract with a $7.1 million signing bonus.
He made his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. Jefferson finished with two receptions for 26 yards. During the Vikings recent game against the Tennessee Titans, he had a breakout performance. He had seven receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown. Even though the Vikings lost 31-30, Jefferson showed why the Vikings decided to draft him.
Justin Jefferson in the same category as Randy Moss
After his impressive performance against the Titans, Jefferson became the first Vikings rookie with 100 receiving yards in a half since Randy Moss did it on Nov. 26, 1998, against the Dallas Cowboys. After the loss to Tennessee, Jefferson spoke to the media. “It doesn’t really matter how many yards or catches or touchdowns I had, we still lost,” Jefferson said. “We still have some things to fix and things to improve, so next week, we just need to dial in and focus and come out with the W.”
Even though Jefferson was not pleased with the loss, he still put together an impressive performance that’s definitely worth some notice. For Jefferson to be in the same category as Randy Moss during his rookie season is an accomplishment because Moss went on to have a Hall of Fame career. Moss finished his rookie season in Minnesota with 69 receptions for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. It will be exciting to see how Jefferson finishes his rookie year with the Vikings. For certain, Jefferson has a lot of talent and can have a promising career in the league.