Justin Jefferson projects to be more productive than 2 WRs selected ahead of him in draft

LSU football's Justin Jefferson. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
LSU football's Justin Jefferson. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Former LSU football wide receiver Justin Jefferson was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

Former LSU football wide receiver Justin Jefferson was the fifth wide receiver selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, but NFL.com is projecting the Louisiana native to be more productive than two of the wide receivers selected ahead of him.

NFL.com projects Jefferson to be the fourth moth productive rookie wide receiver in 2020, behind CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Michael Pittman Jr (the lone player ahead of Jefferson on this list that was selected after him in the draft).

The two players selected ahead of Jefferson that NFL.com is predicting won’t be as productive as the LSU product?

Jerry Jeudy (No. 5 on the list) and Jalen Reagor (No. 10 on the list).

Why Justin Jefferson is expected to excel as a rookie

NFL.com’s Cynthia Freland writes that “Jefferson’s computer vision route-running tracking shows he’s more than just a slot guy”.

Freland added, “once we get a better sense of how the Vikings’ offense shifts without the traded-away Stefon Diggs, Jefferson’s projection could go up… a lot”.

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said this week that Jefferson will play mostly in the slot in 2020.

“That’s something he’s exceptional at”, said Kubiak (via The Athletic’s Chad Graff).

Kubiak added that Jefferson will “move inside quite a bit”.

That’s good news for Jefferson because he excelled on the inside at LSU.

According to PFF (via NFL.com), 109 of Jefferson’s 111 receptions came from the slot. All 18 of his touchdowns came from the slot.

But Jefferson also has the speed to be more than just a lot guy. And I’m sure the Vikings will figure out ways to use those skills, too.

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It sounds like Jefferson could thrive in Minnesota. The Vikings’ offensive staff understands his strengths and they’re going to put Jefferson in the best possible position to succeed.

I don’t know if he’ll have rookie of the year type numbers, but the former LSU standout could get close to that level of production.