Former LSU football wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a rookie season for the ages in 2020.
Jefferson, who was selected with the No. 22 overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft, caught 88 passes for 1,400 yards as a rookie.
The 1,400 receiving yards set a rookie record.
In this golden age of analytics, traditional stats aren’t the primary way a player is judged (football isn’t quite like baseball, but it’s getting close to that).
NFL.com recently took a look at the top 10 pass catchers from 2020 using “Next Gen Stats”.
And Jefferson, unsurprisingly, was among the top 10 pass catchers in the NFL last season.
Justin Jefferson was among the top 10 pass catchers in the NFL in 2020
NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats combines catch rate (which is the percentage of targets caught) with expected catch rate (the average completion probability when targeted) to come up with the top pass catchers.
Jefferson had a catch rate of 70.4 percent. He had an expected catch rate of 61.3 percent.
Those percentages put Jefferson as the No. 7 pass catcher in the NFL.
Catching passes he wasn’t supposed to catch wasn’t the only impressive Next Gen Stat that Jefferson put up last season.
According to NFL.com, Jefferson recorded 100 or more yards on seven different routes as a rookie.
The only other player to accomplish that same feat in 2020 was Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
NFL.com also noted that Jefferson recorded totaled 606 receiving yards against press coverage, which was the most in the NFL. Jefferson also had 380 receiving yards on deep receptions, which was No. 7 in the NFL last season.
There’s no doubt that Jefferson is among the best wide receivers in the NFL already. The former LSU standout is set to be a dominant force in Minnesota for years to come.