It’s hard to find a person in the football world who isn’t currently raving about Justin Jefferson. At this point Pro Football Focus might as well just change their website logo to his picture. They redid their draft grades, and he’s now the highest-graded first rounder from the 2020 draft Every day it seems like they come out with a new ranking to shout about how incredible he is.
It’s a funny feeling for Viking fans, having a first round wide receiver blowing up in his rookie season. Ever since the excitement that was Randy Moss came and went, it seemed like the purple franchise had taken on some sort of Minnesota version of the Curse of the Bambino when it came to first round wide receivers. You traded Randy Moss away, and you’ll never get another talented first rounder again.
So even now, in the middle of all this Justin Jefferson excitement, most of us in Vikings Nation can likely admit that we never in a million years would have predicted THIS level of success THIS early.
But most of us aren’t Cris Carter. The legendary purple wide receiver saw Jefferson coming from a hundred miles away.
When Carter appeared on a digital show for Vikings.com back in April to discuss wide receivers for the draft, the first name out of his mouth was Justin Jefferson.
“I think a guy who had a really great combine is Justin Jefferson,” he said. “He’s an accomplished route runner from LSU. Very, very mature receiver. I believe he’s a star in the making.”
From that moment on he seemed to be on a publicity tour for the young wide receiver, telling anyone and everyone who would listen that Jefferson was the best wide receiver in the draft — and that included telling Justin himself after the two worked together at the combine.
Back in April, Jefferson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press the following:
“He was giving me tips (at the combine) on how to be a better receiver, how to be a long-term better receiver,” Jefferson told the paper. “Having him in my ear, just giving me his knowledge and the information that he has definitely means a lot. He’s a Hall of Fame receiver. … He said I was the best receiver in the draft, so we definitely have a connection.”
Carter even went so far as to publicly plead with the Vikings on Twitter to draft the LSU star:
And speaking of Twitter he took to the platform recently to enjoy the success of his prediction:
The most exhilarating part of all of this here isn’t just that Jefferson is supported and encouraged by Carter, or that he’s received tips from the former great. It’s that he’s starting to remind a lot of fans of the playmaker himself. Through six games, Jefferson has displayed fantastic hands, an ability to play both all over the field, and maybe most importantly he’s got that Cris Carter run after the catch vibe.
Now, am I sitting here saying that Justin Jefferson is going to become Cris Carter and have back to back 120 reception seasons like number 80 did when Warren Moon was his quarterback? No that would be absolutely insane. But if the man himself is this excited about the Vikings young superstar, then the sky’s the limit for our expectations.