Justin Jefferson: Being the fifth receiver drafted was disrespectful

NFL: NOV 22 Cowboys at Vikings
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Justin Jefferson was the best rookie receiver in the NFL this season. The Vikings receiver totaled 1,400 receiving yards, an all-time rookie record and 465 more than the next closest rookie’s total.

That isn’t what Jefferson was seeking, though.

“I wanted to be the best receiver I can be,” Jefferson told Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter on their Huddle & Flow podcast. “I didn’t want to really compare myself to the other rookie receivers. I wanted to be the best receiver in the league.”

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and Jefferson are the top candidates for offensive rookie of the year, with the NFL announcing the winner the night before the Super Bowl. Odell Beckham was the last receiver to win the award, taking it home in 2014, and receiver Percy Harvin was the last Vikings player to win it in 2009.

Yet, Jefferson waited a long time to hear his name called on draft day. He was the fifth receiver off the board, following Henry Ruggs III (No. 12), Jerry Jeudy (15), CeeDee Lamb (17) and Jalen Reagor (21). Jefferson was the only rookie receiver to break 1,000 receiving yards, and his 88 receptions topped the rookies, too.

“I kept a chip on my shoulder, if you want to say that,” said Jefferson, who played at LSU. “I just felt like I was one of the top receivers, especially off of the performance I did with the national championship, having over 1,500 yards, having 18 touchdowns. So being the fifth receiver picked up, I felt that was disrespectful on their part.

“I just wanted to prove everybody wrong. All of the doubts about me playing outside, me not being a fast receiver, me not being able to go deep. So this past season, I worked on all of those things. I just tried to clean up my game a little bit more and be that versatile receiver.”

58 responses to “Justin Jefferson: Being the fifth receiver drafted was disrespectful

  1. He’s far and away the best rookie WR in the league, and going forward he will be a top 5 WR in the league regardless of service time.

  2. OMG this character is already entering Antonio Brown territory in terms of being a self-centered diva.

  3. Chip on your shoulder, great. Wanting to be the best, great. Proving everyone wrong, ok. Disrespect? That’s where you lose me. It’s not like he dropped to the 5th round. The draft is a crap shoot most of the time. Just be the best you can be, JJ. The rest of the league knows you’re the real deal and every team that picked a WR ahead of you knows they made a mistake.

  4. As a Cowboys fan no disrespect but I’d still take CeeDee Lamb again over Jefferson.

    I expect him to be WR1 fairly soon.

  5. What in the good Lord’s name is this guy going on about? He was the 22nd player taken in the draft. He walked into a perfect situation, at least relative to the other guys. And he’s somehow pissed off? Hey JJ, how would you like to have been in CeeDee’s shoes, watching Dak Prescott go down in a crumpled heap so early in the season? How about Jalen Reagor enduring Philly’s quarterback disfunction? JJ could have always wound up in Denver, like the other JJ (Jerry Jeudy). Hell, they didn’t even have a quarterback in one of their games this season.

    Jefferson should consider himself lucky that he went where and when he did, and drop the fake disrespect crap. Like my daddy always told me growing up, “Son, bloom where you’re planted.” Jefferson did just that, and he deserves credit for that; but he’d be wise to remember that – along with understanding that his comments makes him come off like a whiney baby – he likely wouldn’t have had the same success in those other NFL cities.

  6. Oh no other talented players got drafted ahead of a guy who only played slot in college. It’s not easy getting draft choices right. The Vikings nailed it, but stop your whining you’re making millions and will make many many more.

  7. At least I’m not the only one struggling to see the disrespect angle. Sorry, teams have needs, rank players a certain way etc. The four guys before you were better fits for the team that picked them in their eyes. Get over it. Go out and prove them wrong, buts it’s not disrespect. It’s life.

  8. Aww poor guys was wronged, yeah right, the more he keeps talking the more we see why he was the 5th one taken.

  9. Are you seriously calling him a diva for that? LOL I’m happy to have that diva on my team!

  10. He looks like a guy who just knows how to play the game like Fitzgerald, Adams, Hopkins, (hate to say it, Antonio Brown), some others.
    The norms of his generation are to yap, unlike his predecessors norms “act like you’ve been there before.”
    Now: Everybody is inked-up, Before: “Did you get drunk in Tijuana?”

  11. C’mon Justin. Just play. Let others do the talking. There were some good receivers in this draft. Don’t be too full of yourself. Tom Brady was a 6th round pick, and Joe Montana was the last player chosen in the 3rd round. They have ten super bowl titles between them, and I haven’t heard either one of those guys popping off like this. I’m not surprised by your success. I actually compared you with the HOFer Chris Carter. I thought you had as good hands as I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been studying college players for decades. Good luck young man. Keep working, and break some of Jerry Rice’s records. Then everyone will be talking for you. You won’t have to say a word.

  12. If the Vikings were smart they would trade him going into 5th season indtread of paying him top 5 money and then watch him pull an OBJ. Pass

  13. Being a Packer fan, I worry about him and RB Cook. They can be as good, or bad, as they want to be.

  14. This idiot was already caught shouting expletives at his QB on the field, and he’s still only a rookie. skoLOL!
    It’s only a matter of time until his baggage starts outweighing his talent.
    Diva.

  15. Imagine being drafted in the 1st round by an NFL team and still feeling disrespected. Must be nice.

  16. Shut up and play ball. You signed a contract. You dont have to tell the world how great you are, prove it yearin year out

  17. The draft evaluation of players is over thought too much. If some player is balling out especially in a power 5 like the SEC chances are he’s legit.

    It should transfer over to the NFL If the guy is in right scheme with a respectable QB.

    Jefferson was a stud at LSU. He ran every route in the tree and would make contested catches over the middle, in traffic, at the chains, whatever.

    Not surprised at all he had a great season. I’m surprised he slipped that far too many measurables get in the way and gets guys fired because they look at measurables instead of what the tape shows

  18. What difference does it natter when or where you were drafted, you act like you’re the only one ever slighted in the draft, be a pro and let your actions speak, not your mouth

  19. A lot of haters in the chat. Players use whatever they can get for motivation. Who are we to tell him how to think? Whatever he’s doing has clearly worked so far.

    Josh Rosen pounded his chest on draft day and his career was over before it started. Aaron Rodgers pouted like a child on draft day and he turned out be a first ballot HOFer.

  20. Dont worry you will scream at the coaches and get your butt traded to New England – would say Buffalo or Cleveland but they are actually becoming teams now.

  21. You are a rookie. Prove yourself as a pro, respect is earned, not given. Use where in the draft you were selected as motivation, not as a personal affront. Learn humility, be grateful for being in the pro league, act like a professional.

  22. This clown feasted on prevent defenses on a third place team in a weak division which was in a weak conference this year.

    Just wait until he plays in games that matter. Good luck rook.

  23. Yeah when it comes down to it Boo Hoo what’d your team do! You should be more upset about missing the playoffs then individual issues.

  24. Disrespected?
    Dude, you were drafted, not recruited. It’s not the same as you coming out of high school and having 40 colleges want you.
    There’s lots of factors that go into who teams draft and what position they draft them at. Maybe some of them did their homework and found out you were a diva.
    Seems he’s got that entitlement disease of being a 5-star recruit and winning that chip in college.

  25. Well, I’m disappointed to hear the disrespected comment. Its almost as bad as some of the uneducated comments on this thread. Lots of anti viking as well as ignorance of NFL comments. JJ was clearly a top 5 NFL receiver. Anyone saying otherwise clearly didn’t watch NFL this year.

  26. This guy sounds like he was an undrafted free agent who had to sign to the CFL. Get over yourself. The league is full of talented WRs with QB2 or QB3 throwing them the ball.

  27. This dude will flame out hard when he doesn’t have Cook and Theilen to take the pressure off.

  28. He was asked a question for an interview. He wasn’t whining. He simply replied to a question asked. Whining is unprovoked which this was not.

  29. I seem to remember a NFC North QB who was taken late in the first round who still plays with a chip on his shoulder. He still whines about it to this day. What’s the difference?

  30. Being chosen fifth was a blessing because it helped propel him to work harder and perform as well as he did. A humble wide receiver in the NFL is a rarity. Hopefully it won’t hurt the Vikings when it’s time to pay him.

  31. If feeling disrespected keeps him playing at this level, I hope he keeps feeling it all through his career.

  32. Disrespect or not, the teams that passed on him were stupid, especially the Raiders. Ruggs is a trick. And Kyle,while you’re waiting for CeeDee to “become” a WR1, Jefferson is already there buddy. Hands down the best rookie reciever.

  33. Disrespectful on “their” part? Like the ones that passed or the team who drafted you into the league….where you became a star? Such a bad look.

  34. The kid has great potential. Now he just needs to shut up and play football and prove it again year after year and he will earn that respect.

  35. Wafflestomp says:
    January 15, 2021 at 8:52 pm
    This idiot was already caught shouting expletives at his QB on the field, and he’s still only a rookie. skoLOL!
    It’s only a matter of time until his baggage starts outweighing his talent.
    Diva.
    ____
    The guy with 100 names and everyone of them loved jefferson before the draft.

  36. Wafflestomp says:
    January 15, 2021 at 8:52 pm
    This idiot was already caught shouting expletives at his QB on the field,.
    ———-
    What were your thoughts on those naughty words Rodgers said towards St Brown after his drop? Or Crosby swearing at the refs. Idiots as well?

  37. This kid will be fine. Somebody he admires and respects will take him aside and explain what it means to be a professional. Many young players with talent require a few years to mature. He’s no different.

  38. This kid is going to help the Vikings compete for 3rd place for years and years to come!

  39. minneanderthals says:
    January 18, 2021 at 6:29 pm
    This kid is going to help the Vikings compete for 3rd place for years and years to come!

    ————–

    He did more than Davante Adams did he rookie year. It took what 4 years for him to have a 1,000 season? He even had Rodgers throwing to him.

  40. rodgersgobucyourself says:

    He did more than Davante Adams did he rookie year. It took what 4 years for him to have a 1,000 season? He even had Rodgers throwing to him.
    —————-

    And that’s great.

    But it doesn’t contradict what I said in any way, shape or form.

  41. minneanderthals says:
    January 19, 2021 at 11:02 am
    rodgersgobucyourself says:

    He did more than Davante Adams did he rookie year. It took what 4 years for him to have a 1,000 season? He even had Rodgers throwing to him.
    —————-

    And that’s great.

    But it doesn’t contradict what I said in any way, shape or form.

    ————

    Son, football is a year to year sport, you hope the Vikings will be bad for years to come. I dont think they will be. Be happy where the Packers are instead of worrying about what a rookie did this year. The samething could happen to the Packers next year or did you forget the tumble your squad had the year Rodgers got hurt?

  42. danicafallsinlove says:

    Son, football is a year to year sport, you hope the Vikings will be bad for years to come. I dont think they will be. Be happy where the Packers are instead of worrying about what a rookie did this year. The samething could happen to the Packers next year or did you forget the tumble your squad had the year Rodgers got hurt?

    —–

    Daughter,
    Oh, I know. You believe the Vikings win the Super Bowl every year, and that you’re better than other fans because the Vikings have won 60 offseason championships (and counting).

    I’m super happy the Packers are still winning and playing.

    Don’t even start lecturing me until you lecture each and every Viking fan trying to take away that joy from Packers fans.

    Thanks in advance,

    A better fan

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