News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Presented by

Lunchbreak: Jefferson Lone Rookie on PFF's Team of the Week

If Justin Jefferson keeps this up, he might end up earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The Vikings 2020 first-round pick looked like a star again Sunday, finishing with nine catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

He recorded the third 100-yard game — and second 150-yard game — of his young career, becoming the first player in NFL history with two 150-yard performances in his first six games.

Jefferson was highlighted on analytics website Pro Football Focus' Team of the Week and was named PFF's Rookie of the Week after his big showing against the Falcons.

Anthony Treash of PFF wrote:

I have said this before, and by the looks of it I'm going to be saying it quite a bit this year. The highest-graded wide receiver of the week is none other than Justin Jefferson at 92.6. He has earned that and Rookie of the Week honors in three of the last four weeks. That brings his receiving grade in that span to 92.5 — 2.5 grade points higher than any other wide receiver. Some of his production this past week did come in garbage time, but regardless, being more productive than any other wide receiver of Week 6 on a per route basis by a full yard at 4.88 yards per route run is still impressive.

Garbage time be damned — Jefferson burnt Kendall Sheffield to a crisp on that route [for a 49-yard score]. In addition to that touchdown, Jefferson had another reception result in a gain of over 20 yards. That brings his total over the last four weeks to nine, which is three more than any other wide receiver.

Entering Week 7, Jefferson ranks fifth in the NFL with 537 receiving yards. He is also fifth in the league with an average of 19.2 yards per catch on his 28 receptions.

The former LSU standout also has three touchdowns thus far and has been nominated for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week.

Hasan offers potential Vikings lineup changes going forward

With the Vikings sitting at 1-5 heading into their bye week, Minnesota's playoff chances are slim.

Arif Hasan of The Athletic recently looked at what the team could focus on in the final 10 games of 2020, and offered up some potential lineup changes going forward.

Hasan wrote that promising young players such as Armon Watts and D.J. Wonnum should get more playing time, and he advocated for practice squad players such as Jake Browning, Nate Stanley, Alexander Hollins and Brandon Dillon to be called up to the 53-man roster.

But Hasan's most notable suggestion was to shuffle up the offensive line, and start rookie Ezra Cleveland at left tackle while shifting Riley Reiff to guard.

Hasan wrote:

The entire offensive line might need to be reshuffled, but the next-best move is to put Cleveland at left tackle. Riley Reiff might be having the best year of his career, especially as a pass protector, but without other pieces of the offense working, that's not worth much. His elite pass protection capability — at least this year — might be put to use on the inside while Cleveland auditions for his true job for the future: left tackle.

Cleveland, whose play at left tackle for Boise State led to his selection in the second round by the Vikings, worked almost exclusively at left guard during training camp. Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that the Vikings opted to move the rookie to right guard to avoid changing more than one position on the offensive line.

Hasan added:

If the Vikings want to set themselves up for 2021, they might as well find opportunities to see if Cleveland can continue to grow and develop at the position they drafted him to play, while also seeing if Reiff can play guard.

Cleveland was a two-time First-Team All-Mountain West selection at left tackle at Boise State.

Hasan's full list of potential changes can be found here.

Advertising