PFF Continues to Heap Praise on Justin Jefferson
Look, it’s really no secret: Justin Jefferson is already an NFL star, so PFF is merely acknowledging the obvious in their recent articles.
Yesterday, PFF published a list of top 25 players under 25. Jefferson, who is still only 22, comes in at 8th overall: “Any time you’re breaking rookie records held by Randy Moss, you are doing something pretty well. Jefferson wasn’t just the best-graded rookie receiver in the NFL last season; his 90.5 PFF receiving grade was better than any other wideout other than Davante Adams. Jefferson generated 2.66 yards per route run, again second only to Adams.”
Indeed, Jefferson had elite production last season. Keep in mind that all this occurred in a run-first offense and after he didn’t start the opening two weeks.
A couple days ago, PFF published an article listing the top 10 receiving tandems in the NFL. The Jefferson and Adam Thielen duo came in at third in the NFL. You’ve already read their Jefferson praise, so here is what they had to say about Thielen: “Thielen is coming off a bounce-back year after an injury-hindered 2019. He came away from 2020 with an 87.4 PFF grade that ranked sixth among NFL wide receivers, marking the third time in the past four years he has finished inside the top 10.”
Thielen talks Jefferson around the 2-minute and 5:15 marks:
I’m of the opinion that Thielen is still the WR1 in Minnesota, but the mere fact that we can even have this debate illustrates just how excellent Jefferson was during his rookie year. Thielen has been elite for several years and there is now a legitimate debate about whether he is still their main receiver. I think he is, but folks who are smarter than I disagree.
Here’s a caution, though: Jefferson – though fantastic – has only had one great season. If he falters in year 2, fans shouldn’t be altogether surprised. Plenty of great players have had sophomore slumps. Jefferson, last time I checked, is still human, so it’s possible he may struggle.
That being said, fans should be feeling really optimistic. The offense has arguably the best collection of skill players in the NFL, and the defense is fully reloaded. Let’s all hope we find some competent kicking.