MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings are hoping that Justin Jefferson can eventually become the long-term replacement for Stefon Diggs.
The Vikings traded Diggs in the off-season to the Buffalo Bills for four draft picks, including the No. 22 overall pick that they used in the virtual NFL Draft to take Jefferson. A video making the rounds on social media should have fans excited for his potential as a rookie. It literally made NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. blush.
Jefferson posted a video Monday night of an individual workout. We can’t see who is throwing to him, but he fakes a slant, runs an out and makes a Beckham-style one-handed catch while getting two feet down on the grass.
Beckham himself responded on social media, “Stay outta my playbook man.” The video has more than 3,000 likes and more than 400 retweets.
Jefferson was a highly-touted recruited as he made his way to LSU. He helped lead the Tigers to the BCS national title this past season with 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns from star quarterback Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick.
He then wowed NFL coaches and scouts after running a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
The Vikings need a No. 2 receiver to emerge with Diggs gone, and Adam Thielen coming into the season as the logical No. 1 receiver despite missing time last year with a hamstring injury. The Vikings also signed Tajae Sharpe in free agency, and return Bisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. as other weapons for Kirk Cousins.
Jefferson’s latest video shows his athleticism and ability to make big plays. And don’t rule out that he will have a role on special teams as a rookie. Coaches have said he’s an option on punt return. But if one-handed catches like that are in our future, it’s a reason for Vikings fans to be optimistic.