Minnesota Vikings: Justin Jefferson with another big-time performance

Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson continues to shine for the Minnesota Vikings.

Just a handful of weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings were 1-5 and appeared to be looking ahead to next season. After their come-from-behind win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Vikings are now 5-6 and have an outside shot to make the playoffs. The Vikings have been on fire in recent weeks and rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson is a major reason why.

Jefferson continued his strong play against the Panthers on Sunday, hauling in seven receptions for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns. With fellow wide receiver Adam Thielen sitting this one out on the COVID list, Jefferson stepped in as the number one receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. Carolina tried to take Jefferson away throughout the game, but he consistently stepped up when Minnesota needed him the most.

Just look at the way Jefferson was able to shake the defender with an elite route and fight for the goal line on his second touchdown of the day. There is a ton of exciting young talent at the wide receiver position around the league, but do not sleep on Jefferson as one of the best. This guy continues to prove himself as a dynamic playmaker at the position and a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

On the year, Jefferson has caught the ball 52 times for 918 yards and six touchdowns. While Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert stands tall as the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year this season, Jefferson is undoubtedly in the conversation. If he continues to perform at such a high level, the Minnesota Vikings’ rookie will at least make it a close race.

Going into the year, fellow rookie receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs received much more attention. While all three of those guys are undoubtedly talented players, Jefferson has raced ahead of all of them in their rookie year. Jefferson was a bit of a forgotten man in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he has quickly established himself as one of the premier young players at the position in the entire league.