Back in the summer, Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson made some headlines when he said in an interview that Davante Adams was the best receiver in the NFL, but Jefferson himself would have that title after the 2022 season.
People like to talk about manifesting all the time. But Jefferson played that prediction into existence.
Jefferson finished the 2022 season leading the league with 128 catches and 1,809 yards. He set new single-season franchise records in both categories, smashing records held by Cris Carter and Randy Moss.
He had nine more catches than anybody else in the league and 99 more yards. While he finished tied at No. 11 with eight touchdown catches, Jefferson set up many more for a Vikings club that finished No. 8 in points scored in its first season under head coach Kevin O’Connell.
That’s why Justin Jefferson is PFT’s 2022 offensive player of the year.
Jefferson outstanding catch ability was perhaps best displayed in the Vikings’ wild Week 10 victory over the Bills when he somehow came down with Kirk Cousins’ 32-yard pass on fourth-and-18 to keep a drive alive in the fourth quarter. Jefferson had 10 catches for 193 yards with a touchdown that day, as it felt like he was willing Minnesota to victory.
The third-year receiver out of LSU had 10 games with at least 100 yards this season, with four games of at least 150 yards.
There were a few other players with a case for offensive player of the year. Raiders running back Josh Jacobs looked like he was on his way out of Las Vegas when he played substantial snaps in the Hall of Fame game. But he led the league with 1,653 yards rushing and 2,053 yards from scrimmage, racking up 12 touchdowns along the way. His new teammate, Adams, led the league with 14 receiving touchdowns on 100 catches with 1,516 yards.
Miami receiver Tyreek Hill was second to Jefferson in catches (119) and yards (1,710) with seven receiving touchdowns.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce once again had an outstanding season at tight end, catching 110 passes for 1,338 yards with a career-high 12 touchdowns.
But Jefferson’s season stands out above the rest. And while some may argue, he has turned himself into the league’s best receiver.