22nd overall – WR Justin Jefferson (LSU)
With the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Minnesota Vikings selected wide receiver Justin Jefferson out of LSU. Jefferson had a fantastic 2019 collegiate season, racking up 111 receptions on 134 targets for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. For those math-averse readers, that’s an 83% percent completion rate with 13.9 yards per reception.
CBS Sports had Jefferson ranked as the fourth best wide receiver in this stacked 2020 pass catching group. The Vikings managed to snag Jefferson at a value being the fifth receiver taken in the 2020 draft.
Jefferson’s best trait is his ability to separate from coverage with great route running skills. Furthermore, when Jefferson couldn’t separate from coverage he showed the ability to make strong contested catches away from his frame, showing his above average body control. At 6’1″ and 192 pounds, Jefferson’s size may project him to play outside near the sidelines, but in the 2019 season SIS charted Jefferson in the slot on 81% of his snaps.
Although he has the size, Jefferson will need to improve his speed and release off the line of scrimmage if he wants to excel on the outside in the NFL. He may not give the Vikings the consistent performances that Diggs has over the past few years, but he certainly has the chance to develop into a great starting wide receiver with inside/outside versatility.