“I’ve got to do better than I did last year:” Takeaways from The Justin Jefferson GQ Interview

Justin Jefferson is already one of the best receivers in the NFL. Very few believed that he’d find so much success so early in his career. Heck, I certainly didn’t think he’d be able to dominate like he did last season, but I was (and still am) thrilled to be wrong. Part of being a star in the NFL means you get more media attention; case in point, Justin Jefferson recently sat down with GQ for an interview.

One of the most interesting parts of their discussion rested in Jefferson explaining what motivates him: “There were questions about me being a fast guy, me being only a slot receiver, me not being able to play that big role in an offense. There were definitely questions about me going into the draft and combine and everything. I wanted to prove to everybody that I am a versatile receiver and that I am one of these top-tier guys.” After one season, I don’t think anyone is wondering whether he is versatile enough to be a top-tier NFL receiver.

He later acknowledges that he has “to do better than [he] did last year.” It’s hard to envision him being much better, but he’s exactly right. The league is always changing, and defensive coordinators have all offseason to plan for how they can slow him. That said, Vikings fans ought to be confident that Jefferson is capable of elevating his game even further.

Jefferson believed that the Eagles were going to draft him. As the above video demonstrates, so did the Vikings. Both the team and Jefferson are happy that Philly chose Jalen Reagor: “Leading up to the draft, you know, they had all of those mock drafts and people sharing their opinions on who is going to go where. A lot of people had me going to Philly. And, I thought I was going to Philly. Honestly. The funny part is, Philly was on the board and then Minnesota called me. At first, I thought it was Philly. But, I answered the phone and it was Minnesota. It’s crazy how all of that happened and everything. But, I’m definitely, definitely, definitely excited that I’m on the Vikings rather than Philly.”

As we’ve mentioned before, there are some things in life that are far, far more important than football. Jefferson was asked about the George Floyd murder and the protests: “That was not something that I thought would ever happen. We all didn’t think that sort of thing would happen, for the whole world to take a stand and be moved by the [killing] of George Floyd and the rest of the police brutality last year. It has been heartwarming to see the world making a change. This is only the start of it. We have to keep fighting and keep building off what’s happened. We can’t just let these things go past and be forgotten.”

The interview ended on a lighthearted note. The worst dance moves on Minnesota’s roster, per Jefferson, is a toss up between Thielen and Cousins. Jefferson goes on to explain that his “goal is to get the Griddy on Madden.”

Justin Jefferson fans ought to hop over to GQ to read the whole interview.