The Vikings added Justin Jefferson and Jeff Gladney in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, marking the first time since 2014 that Minnesota had multiple first-round draft selections.
That duo was recently spotlighted by Jared Dubin of CBS Sports, who called them the Vikings “most interesting additions” for the upcoming season.
Dubin noted that he expects both players to play pivotal roles in Minnesota, even in their first seasons in the league.
Jefferson was one of my favorite players in this year's draft. He has his work cut out for him in replacing a traded former star [in Stefon Diggs]. He's not an explosive athlete, but Jefferson is a really versatile route-runner. He does his best work in the slot, where he can set defenders up and shake them out of their boots in all that open space. Adam Thielen is at his best in the slot as well, though, so it'll be interesting to see how the Vikings deploy them.
Gladney, meanwhile, was just one part of the Vikings' secondary overhaul. Gladney leads a group that also includes Cameron Dantzler, Harrison Hand, and Kris Boyd, as well as several street free agents. He should get the first shot to start opposite 2018 first-rounder Mike Hughes, and the Vikings need him to shine from Day 1.
View photos of Vikings players who participated in workouts at TCO Performance Center.
Jefferson, the 22nd overall pick in the draft, produced one of the best receiving seasons in LSU history in 2019 as a junior. He tied for the national lead and set a school single-season record with 111 catches and finished second in the country overall with 18 touchdown receptions.
The 21-year-old, who was third in FBS with 1,540 receiving yards and helped the Tigers win the College Football Playoff National Championship, flourished in 2020 after shifting inside as a slot receiver for his final college season.
Gladney landed in Minnesota with the 31st overall selection after the Vikings traded down from the 25th pick.
A First-Team All-Big 12 selection at TCU, Gladney started 10 of 12 games in 2019, totaling 31 tackles (24 solo), one interception and 1.5 tackles for loss. His 14 passes defensed led the conference.
Cris Carter recalls favorite catches of NFL career
Cris Carter hauled in 1,101 receptions in his Hall of Fame career, a number that ranks sixth all-time in NFL history.
But surely the legendary wide receiver — and member of the Vikings Ring of Honor — has a few that stand out.
Carter highlighted those in a recent video chat with NFL.com, as he picked out the most difficult catch of his career. Well, make that two catches.
The first play Carter recalled was from Week 2 of the 1991 season against the Falcons.
Carter caught a 39-yard score from Wade Wilson on the play, but he used just one hand to do it.
The wide receiver reached around Falcons cornerback Bobby Butler and snagged the ball out of nowhere, falling to the ground untouched near the 5-yard line. Carter then crawled into the end zone.
"I caught one in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium," Carter recalled. "I had to reach around him and reach down and catch it before it hit the ground with my right hand. That would probably be No. 1A."
View photos of Vikings legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter.
Carter finished with five receptions for 94 yards and two scores on the day.
Carter also recalled a Week 3 game from 2001 against division-rival Tampa Bay, in which the wide receiver made an unbelievable leaping grab in front of one of the game's top safeties.
Carter explained the 24-yard reception early in the fourth quarter from Daunte Culpepper:
"No. 1B would be against Tampa Bay. The ball was thrown behind me and high," Carter said. "The safety was John Lynch, and people that know John, he's a big hitter.
"I caught it with one hand this way, and he clobbered me," Carter said while reaching back toward the ball with his right hand.
Carter finished that game with five receptions for 62 yards and a score.
Carter provided plenty of memorable moments in his 16-season career, finished with 1,101 catches for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns.
Carter ranks fourth all-time in touchdown catches and is 13th in league history in receiving yards. He is also the Vikings all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns.
Watch 'Vikings Training Camp Live' Today at 2:15 PM
Tune in today at 2:15 PM to watch live coverage of Verizon Vikings Training Camp from the TCO Performance Center. Paul Allen, Pete Bercich, Ben Leber and Greg Coleman will break down position battles and look ahead to the 2020 season.
Watch and/or listen on all the Vikings digital + social platforms, as well as FOX 9, KFAN FM 100.3 & the Vikings Radio Network.