Justin Jefferson: Joe Burrow Has More Swag Than Kirk Cousins, Not Afraid of Hits

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Godlis/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday and was asked to compare and contrast his former quarterback at LSU, Joe Burrow, with his current quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

And Jefferson said the main difference boiled down to swagger (2:58 mark):

"Kirk and Joe throw similar balls. They're not the strongest-armed, but they're going to get it to you exactly where you need them to throw it. But the thing about Joe that's a little bit different...I feel like Joe has a little more swagger. He has that confidence on the field, and he's not scared to get hit. I feel like as a quarterback, that's a big trait to have. Especially to be as young as he is. He's a phenomenal quarterback."

While it seemed as though Jefferson was praising Burrow in that moment more than he was shading Cousins, he then told Cowherd he wasn't particularly surprised when rumors suggested the team was interested in potentially drafting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. 

"We have to build on for after Kirk, or whatever the case may be," he said. "Having Justin Fields brings a little more pressure to other teams by having a dominant quarterback like he is."

ESPN's Courtney Cronin reported last week that the Vikings were indeed in the market for one of the top quarterbacks (they ultimately drafted Kellen Mond in the third round) and that Cousins was informed:

"According to multiple sources, a Vikings coach reached out to Cousins in the lead-up to the draft to let him know Minnesota was considering taking a quarterback at some point. It wasn't to warn him that his job was in jeopardy or that he was being immediately replaced. It was a simple heads-up so Cousins wouldn't be blindsided."

And perhaps Jefferson is indicating he would be OK with a new direction at the position, too. 

As a rookie, Jefferson caught 88 passes for 1,400 yards and seven scores, linking up with Cousins to have one of the greatest debut seasons from a wide receiver in NFL history. Had Fields been drafted instead of Mond, it would have been pretty clear the Vikings were going to switch quarterbacks in the near future. 

With Mond, however, it's more likely that Cousins will play out the last two years of his deal. Swagger or not, he's Jefferson's quarterback for the foreseeable future.