Justin Jefferson
refer to caption
Jefferson with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022
No. 18 – Minnesota Vikings
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1999-06-16) June 16, 1999 (age 23)
St. Rose, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Destrehan (Destrehan, Louisiana)
College:LSU (2017–2019)
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL record
  • Most receiving yards per game (career): 96.5
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2022
Receptions:324
Receiving yards:4,825
Receiving touchdowns:25
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Justin Joshua Jefferson (born June 16, 1999)[1] is an American football wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at LSU and was drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Jefferson set an NFL rookie record for receiving yards with 1,400 (a record that was broken in 2021 by his former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase) and was named to the Pro Bowl. Jefferson has been a Pro Bowler in each of his first three seasons. In 2022, Jefferson led the NFL in receptions (128) and yards (1809), amassing the most receiving yards through a player's first three seasons.

Early years

Jefferson attended Destrehan High School in Destrehan, Louisiana.[2] A low three-star prospect, ranked by 247Sports as the nation's 308th best wide receiver coming out of high school, he committed to Louisiana State University (LSU) to play college football.[3][4]

College career

Jefferson with LSU in 2019
Jefferson with LSU in 2019

Jefferson played at LSU for three years under head coach Ed Orgeron.[5]

2017–2018 seasons

After appearing in two games and not recording a catch his first year at LSU in 2017, Jefferson was their leading receiver in 2018 with 54 catches for 875 yards and six touchdowns.[6][7][8] He scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 65-yard reception from Joe Burrow against Ole Miss on September 29, 2018.[9] He had two games going over the 100-yard mark with 108 in a victory over Georgia and 117 in a victory over Arkansas.[10][11]

2019 season

In the Tigers' second game of the 2019 season, Jefferson had nine receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns in a 45–38 victory on the road against Texas.[12] On October 12, against Florida, he had ten receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown in the 42–28 victory.[13] In the SEC Championship, against Georgia, he had seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown in the 37–10 victory.[14] Jefferson and the Tigers qualified for the College Football Playoffs with an undefeated record in the 2019 season.[15] He had a historic performance in the Peach Bowl, catching 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns against the Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoff Semifinals. All four touchdowns came in the first half, and set a College Football Playoff game record and tied the record for any bowl game.[16] In the National Championship against Clemson, he had nine receptions for 106 yards in the 42–25 victory.[17] In his junior season, Jefferson led the country with 111 receptions. His 18 receiving touchdowns ranked second in the country—behind only teammate Ja'Marr Chase—and his 1,540 receiving yards were third most. He had eight games going over the 100-yard mark.[18][19] On January 15, 2020, Jefferson announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.[20]

Statistics

Justin Jefferson
Season Receiving Rushing
Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD
2017 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 4 4.0 4 0
2018 54 875 16.2 65 6 5 26 5.2 19 0
2019 111 1,540 13.9 71 18 0 0 0.0 0 0
Career 165 2,415 14.6 71 24 6 30 6.0 19 0

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 1+14 in
(1.86 m)
202 lb
(92 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
9+18 in
(0.23 m)
4.43 s 1.57 s 2.61 s 37.5 in
(0.95 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
19
All values from NFL Combine[21][22][23]

Jefferson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[24] The Vikings previously obtained the 22nd selection as part of a blockbuster trade that sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills.[25] Jefferson signed a four-year, $13.12 million contract with the team, with a $7.1 million signing bonus.[26] Jefferson was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on July 27, 2020,[27] before being cleared and activated a week later.[28]

2020

See also: 2020 Minnesota Vikings season

Jefferson made his debut in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, recording two receptions for 26 yards.[29] He made his first start of the season in a Week 3 game against the Tennessee Titans, where he had his first big breakthrough by finishing with 175 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven receptions, but the Vikings lost 30–31.[30] He followed up that performance the next week with four receptions for 103 yards in a 31–23 win over the Houston Texans. In doing so, he became just the fifth rookie wide receiver in Vikings history to have back-to-back games with at least 100 yards receiving.[31] During Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons, Jefferson finished with nine receptions for 166 receiving yards and two touchdowns .[32]

In Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jefferson recorded nine catches for 121 yards and a touchdown during a 27–24 overtime win, in this game he broke the 1,000 receiving yard mark.[33] In Week 15 against the Chicago Bears, Jefferson broke Randy Moss's Vikings rookie receiving record by catching eight passes, putting him at 74 receptions, surpassing the 69 catches Moss had in 1998.[34]

By the season's end, Jefferson had set the NFL record for most receiving yards (1,400) by a rookie in NFL history after surpassing Anquan Boldin's 1,377 yards in 2003 (although his record would be broken by his former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase the following season).[35] He was one of only two rookies named to the 2021 Pro Bowl, alongside defensive end Chase Young of the Washington Football Team.[36] He was named Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News.[37] He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.[38] He was ranked 53rd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2021.[39]

2021

See also: 2021 Minnesota Vikings season

Jefferson's season started strong, putting up over 100 receiving yards against Seattle, Detroit, and the Chargers over the first eight games of the season. In Week 11, Jefferson had eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns in a 34–31 win over the Green Bay Packers, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[40] In Week 13, Jefferson caught 11 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown in a 29–27 loss to the Detroit Lions. Jefferson's 464 yards and three touchdowns through four games in the month of November earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Month, the first of his career.[41] During Week 16, Jefferson passed Odell Beckham Jr. for most receiving yards by a player in his first two NFL seasons.[42]

Jefferson finished the season with 1,616 receiving yards, good for second-most in the NFL in 2021, and just 16 yards short of Randy Moss's single-season franchise record.[43][44][45][46] Jefferson was named to the 2022 Pro Bowl, joining Randy Moss and Sammy White as the only three Vikings wide receivers to make Pro Bowls in each of their first two professional seasons.[47][48] For the second consecutive year, Jefferson was named a second-team member of the AP All-Pro team, missing a spot on the first-team by a single vote.[49] He was ranked 17th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2022.[50]

2022

See also: 2022 Minnesota Vikings season

Jefferson during pre-game warm-ups in 2022
Jefferson during pre-game warm-ups in 2022

Against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, Jefferson caught nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the 23–7 win.[51] During Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Jefferson finished with 147 receiving yards and a rushing touchdown as the Vikings won 28–25.[52] The following week against Chicago Bears, Jefferson caught a career-high 12 catches resulting in 154 yards receiving in the 29–22 win.[53] Jefferson's third catch of the game marked 227 career receptions, surpassing Randy Moss for the franchise record of the most receptions in the first three years of a career.[54]

Against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10, Jefferson caught 10 passes for a career-high 193 yards and a touchdown as the Vikings went on to win 33–30 in overtime.[55] One of Jefferson's catches came with two minutes left in the fourth quarter where on 4th down and 18, Jefferson made a one-handed catch for 32 yards, wrestling the ball away from Bills cornerback Cam Lewis on the way to the ground. The catch was widely heralded as one of the greatest of all time,[56] and his arm sleeves and gloves from the game were put on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[57] In Week 12, against the New England Patriots, he had nine receptions for 139 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in the 33–26 victory.[58] In the game against the Patriots, Jefferson passed Moss for the most receiving yards in a player's first three seasons.[59] In Week 14 against the Detroit Lions, Jefferson recorded 11 receptions for 223 yards, setting the Vikings single-game record for receiving yards, in the 34–23 road loss. Additionally, in week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts, Jefferson recorded 12 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown, setting his season total to 1,623 yards, a new career high.[60] Against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17, he was held to one catch on five targets for 15 yards, the lowest stats in a game of his career. During the same game, he incidentally hit a referee with his helmet out of frustration but received no punishment.[61][62]

Jefferson finished the 2022 regular season with a league-leading 128 receptions for 1,809 yards and 8 touchdowns.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high
Led the league
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 MIN 16 14 88 1,400 15.9 71 7 1 2 2.0 2 0 1 0
2021 MIN 17 17 108 1,616 15.0 56 10 6 14 2.3 11 0 1 1
2022 MIN 17 17 128 1,809 14.1 64 8 4 24 6.0 10 1 0 0
Career 50 48 324 4,825 14.9 71 25 11 40 3.6 11 1 2 1

Personal life

His brothers, Jordan and Rickey, also played college football at LSU. Their father, John, played Division II college basketball.[63] On April 27, 2021, Jefferson was the first NFL player to be added to Fortnite with the dance, the Griddy.[64]

References

  1. ^ "Justin Jefferson Stats, Bio, Age, Net Worth, & Career". lines.com. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  2. ^ Gillen, Garland (September 16, 2016). "Another Jefferson stars for Destrehan football". fox8live.com. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Lopez, Andrew (August 3, 2017). "Destrehan's Justin Jefferson added to LSU football team". NOLA.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings, Wide Receiver". 247Sports. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  5. ^ "LSU Fighting Tigers Football Record By Year". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  6. ^ "Justin Jefferson 2017 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Justin Jefferson 2018 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Guilbeau, Glenn (August 23, 2019). "LSU's Justin Jefferson will transition from Mr. Outside to Mr. Inside at receiver in 2019". The Advertiser.
  9. ^ "Ole Miss at LSU Box Score, September 29, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  10. ^ "Georgia at LSU Box Score, October 13, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  11. ^ "LSU at Arkansas Box Score, November 10, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  12. ^ "LSU at Texas Box Score, September 7, 2019". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  13. ^ "Florida at LSU Box Score, October 12, 2019". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  14. ^ "Georgia vs LSU Box Score, December 7, 2019". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  15. ^ "2019 LSU Fighting Tigers Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  16. ^ West, Jenna (December 29, 2019). "Five Things to Know About Justin Jefferson, LSU's Breakout Receiver". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "College Football Championship – Clemson vs LSU Box Score, January 13, 2020". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Justin Jefferson 2019 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  19. ^ "2019 Leaders". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  20. ^ Conway, Tyler (January 15, 2020). "LSU WR Justin Jefferson Declares for 2020 NFL Draft". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  21. ^ "Justin Jefferson Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  22. ^ "2020 Draft Scout Justin Jefferson, LSU NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  23. ^ "Wonderlic scores released for WR prospects, Jeudy and Lamb struggle". knbr.com. April 16, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  24. ^ White, R.J. (April 23, 2020). "2020 NFL Draft grades: Vikings get an 'A' for selecting Justin Jefferson at No. 22 overall". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  25. ^ "2020 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  26. ^ Rapp, Timothy (July 22, 2020). "Report: Justin Jefferson, Vikings Agree to 4-Year, $13.12M Rookie Contract". Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  27. ^ "Vikings Announce Roster Moves". Vikings.com. July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  28. ^ "Vikings Announce Roster Moves; Justin Jefferson Activated". Vikings.com. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  29. ^ "Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings – September 13th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  30. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings – September 27th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  31. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans – October 4th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  32. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings – October 18th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  33. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings – December 6th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  34. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (December 20, 2020). "Vikings' Justin Jefferson breaks Randy Moss' longstanding franchise rookie record". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  35. ^ Cronin, Courtney (January 3, 2021). "WR Jefferson sets Super Bowl-era rookie record". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  36. ^ Sullivan, Tyler (December 21, 2020). "Pro Bowl rosters for NFC and AFC: Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers named starters, two rookies make the cut". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  37. ^ Manning, Bryan (January 22, 2021). "Former LSU star Justin Jefferson is Sporting News rookie of the year". LSU Wire. USA Today. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  38. ^ "2020 NFL All-Rookie Team". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  39. ^ "2021 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  40. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 24, 2021). "Colts RB Jonathan Taylor, Vikings WR Justin Jefferson lead Players of the Week". NFL.com. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  41. ^ Smith, Eric (December 2, 2021). "Justin Jefferson named Offensive Player of Month". vikings.com. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  42. ^ Cronin, Courtney (December 26, 2021). "Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson breaks record for receiving yards during first two NFL seasons". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  43. ^ "Minnesota Vikings Single-Season Receiving Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  44. ^ "2021 NFL Receiving". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  45. ^ Ragatz, Will (January 9, 2022). "Justin Jefferson falls 16 yards short of Randy Moss's Single-Season Vikings Receiving Record". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  46. ^ "Justin Jefferson 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  47. ^ Smith, Eric; Peters, Craig (December 20, 2021). "Justin Jefferson Goes Back-to-Back for Pro Bowl Honors". Vikings.com. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  48. ^ Ragatz, Will (December 20, 2021). "Vikings' Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Harrison Smith Selected to 2022 Pro Bowl". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  49. ^ "2021 NFL All-Pro Team Voting". The Associated Press. January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  50. ^ "2022 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  51. ^ Williams, Charean (September 11, 2022). "Justin Jefferson's 184 yards propels Vikings to 23–7 victory over Packers". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  52. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints – October 2nd, 2022". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  53. ^ Ragatz, Will (October 9, 2022). "Just Like That, Justin Jefferson Leads the NFL in Receiving Yards Again". SI.com. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  54. ^ Forness, Tyler (October 9, 2022). "Justin Jefferson sets team record on opening touchdown drive". Vikings Wire. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  55. ^ "'Game of the year!': Stars weigh in on Jefferson's fourth-down catch, Vikings' OT win". ESPN.com. November 13, 2022. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  56. ^ Nelson, Joe (November 14, 2022). "Justin Jefferson's game in Buffalo is one of the best ever". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  57. ^ Lawson-Freeman, Callie (November 16, 2022). "Justin Jefferson's Week 10 catch was so amazing the Pro Football Hall of Fame wants a piece of it". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  58. ^ "New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings - November 24th, 2022". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  59. ^ Peters, Craig (November 24, 2022). "Justin Jefferson Passes Randy Moss' NFL Record Yards in 1st 3 Seasons". www.vikings.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  60. ^ Nelson, Joe (December 11, 2022). "Failure to clinch: Lions the latest to carve up Vikings defense". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  61. ^ Bates, Daniel. "NFL World Reacts To Justin Jefferson, Referee Incident". The Spun: What's Trending In The Sports World Today. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  62. ^ Ragatz, Will. "Justin Jefferson held to career-low one catch against Jaire Alexander, Packers". Sports Illustrated Minnesota Vikings News, Analysis and More. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  63. ^ Kubena, Brooks (September 20, 2018). "LSU family legacy continues through Justin Jefferson: 'It's like he was destined to do it'". The Advocate. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  64. ^ Richard, Isaiah (April 26, 2021). "Justin Jefferson Gets 'Fortnite' Skin: He's the First NFL Player to Get One—When is the Release Date?". Tech Times. Retrieved January 3, 2022.