The Vikings selected LSU WR Justin Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft — the pick they acquired from the Bills for WR Stefon Diggs. No WR in this class had a more productive 2019. Jefferson’s 111 catches tied for most in the country, he ranked 3rd with 1,540 receiving yards and finished 2nd with 18 TDs. That, of course, came on an LSU offense that led the nation in passing yards and TDs. So Jefferson’s market shares — 26% of the receptions, 26% of the receiving yards and 30% of the TDs — are less impressive. We came away a bit underwhelmed by his tape. Jefferson did a bunch of damage vs. zone coverages but can struggle to separate from man. On the plus side, he’s excellent in tight quarters, leading all draft-eligible WRs with a 92.4% contested-catch rate in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. Jefferson has extensive experience at all WR spots, playing 81% of his snaps on the outside in 2018 and 78% in the slot last year. And he impressed at the Combine, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and earning an 82nd percentile SPARQ score at 6’1, 202 pounds. While we wonder how high Jefferson’s fantasy ceiling extends, he looks like 1 of the higher-floor WRs in this class. And he should immediately slide in as Minnesota’s #2 WR, making him a good bet for 2020 fantasy value.
Vikings WR Justin Jefferson said he's "so excited" about new HC Kevin O'Connell's offense. "Our offensive style, it's not a run-first offense anymore," Jefferson said. "Just us being able to put different people in different positions and distribute the ball, really." We actually wouldn't describe last year's Vikings as "run first" considering they ranked 11th in pass attempts. But they finished 18th in situation-neutral pass rate, so there's room for at least a moderate climb in passing volume this season. Jefferson is a locked-in top 3 fantasy WR.
Former Rams OC and new Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell wants to use WR Justin Jefferson in a role similar to the one Cooper Kupp played last year. “The one thing about Cooper Kupp this past season is he lined up in a lot of different spots. It was hard for defenses to really know where he was," O'Connell said. "I see that with Justin. I see an incredible, incredible skillset, but I also see a player we can move around. We can make it hard for defenses to know where he’s going to be. He doesn’t have to line up in the same spot all the time. He doesn’t have to run the same type of routes all the time. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s willing in the run game. This guy’s a special, special player." It's no surprise that O'Connell will make Jefferson the focal point of his passing game. But it's exciting to hear about a more diverse role -- especially considering the season Kupp just had.
The Vikings are expected to name Rams OC Kevin O'Connell their new HC, according to multiple reports. The move can't be made official until after the Super Bowl. The 36-year-old O'Connell was a 3rd-round pick of the Patriots back in 2008. He washed out of the league after just 5 seasons and took his first coaching job with the Browns in 2015 under OC John DeFilippo. O'Connell worked for HC Chip Kelly in San Francisco in 2016 before spending the next 3 seasons in Washington, earning the OC title in 2019. He's spent the past 2 seasons as Rams OC, although HC Sean McVay has called the plays.
Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson (ankle) and Adam Thielen (foot) aren't listed on the final injury report. Both guys got some time off in practice earlier this week but should be ready to play their usual roles vs. the Panthers on Sunday.
Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson (ankle) and Adam Thielen (foot) missed their 2nd straight practices on Thursday. We haven't heard any concern about their availability for this weekend's game vs. the Panthers, but make sure to check back tomorrow afternoon for another update.
Based on our award-winning projections, an axis of data points give insights far deeper than a rankingView Our Accuracy Awards »
Round-by-Round Draft Strategy Guides, Sleepers, Undervalued Players, Busts and Handcuffs
Command your entire draft with a dynamic tool synced to your league. Updating and adapting in real time.
Quickly find the free-agent gems, pull the trigger on the perfect trade & make the right start/sit decisions.
$6/month thereafter, billed semi-annually, one-click cancel anytime.