At just 22 years old, Minnesota Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson has already cemented himself as one of the best pass catchers in the NFL.
In his first two seasons in the league, Jefferson has totaled 196 receptions for 3,016 yards and 17 touchdowns. Pro Football Focus handed him an overall grade of 90.1 in 2021, ranking fourth among 115 qualifying wideouts.
Along with those outstanding totals, Jefferson also put up some solid contested catch statistics throughout his first two years in the NFL. Per PFF, Jefferson has hauled in 25 contested catches over the past two years and has posted a contested catch percentage of 51 percent.
Nearly every metric points to Jefferson being an elite NFL receiver. He’s been one of the best big play threats at the receiver position since entering the league in 2020. Last season, Jefferson accumulated 44 catches of 15 yards or more, which led the NFL.
Precise route running, speed to take the top off a defense, strong hands that can bring the ball down in traffic. You name it, Jefferson has it. He’s one of the most complete receivers in the game and he”ll be just 23 years old entering this upcoming season.
Moving forward, Jefferson’s usage rate should only continue to increase. His running mate, Adam Thielan, will be 32 years old entering the 2022 season and has already showed some signs of regression. Last year, he posted a career-low 10.8 yards per reception while averaging just 55.8 receiving yards per contest. The Vikings don’t have much to work with outside of Jefferson and Thielan in their passing attack. If Thielan’s age continues to show, expect Jefferson to continue picking up the slack and putting up crazy numbers.
Now that Justin Jefferson has had back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns to kickoff his NFL career, defenses should start double teaming him more often. But if his outstanding production is any indication, defenses can throw whatever they want at the former LSU Tiger. He’s still going to produce at a high level.