NFL Personnel Director on Justin Jefferson: Not Scared of Him Taking Top off Defense

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

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Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson doesn't stack up with former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase in one key area in the eyes of one NFC personnel director.

"Ja'Marr is faster and stronger and can do more with the ball in his hands," the team official said to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "Jefferson is an elite route-runner and is relentless, but he's missing that elite physical trait that Chase has. You're not scared of him taking the top off your defense, even if he's going to get 11 for 150 on you."

Chase ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine and averaged 18.0 yards per catch as a rookie with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jefferson, meanwhile, posted a 4.43-second 40 at the 2020 combine and hasn't been as much of a downfield threat, averaging 15.4 yards per catch.

Still, downplaying Jefferson's big-play ability seems somewhat meaningless when the personnel executive conceded he could toast your secondary to the tune of 150 yards. Per Stathead, his 3,016 receiving yards are the most ever through the first two years of a player's career.

And that production is despite playing with Kirk Cousins, who has never been confused for the second coming of Dan Marino, and sharing an offense with Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen.

Even if the threat for Jefferson to burn your secondary on one play isn't as high as it is with other wideouts, you don't want to see him lining up opposite your cornerbacks on Sunday.


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