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Lunchbreak: Justin Jefferson Listed Among 'Biggest Threats' to Break NFL Receiving Record in 2024

They say records are made to be broken, and Justin Jefferson has already shattered several of them.

Jefferson, who in 2022 broke Vikings single-season receptions and yardage records on the way to setting the NFL record for most receptions (324) and receiving yards (4,825) in a player's first three seasons in league history, has a shot at resetting another benchmark this season.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks recently included Jefferson in a group of five players he believes have a chance at breaking the NFL receiving record this season. Brooks wrote:

The shift to a pass-centric league has made wide receivers hot commodities on the market. Teams are willing to throw the bag at pass catchers with the capacity to move the chains and light up scoreboards as electric playmakers on the perimeter.

Calvin Johnson enjoyed a Hall of Fame career as a WR1 in Detroit, utilizing his superior size, speed and athleticism to overwhelm defenders in space. The three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selectee dominated the game from Day 1, especially during his record-breaking 2012 campaign, when he nearly eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark (1,964).

While the record has lasted for over a decade, the eye-popping numbers posted by receivers over the past few seasons make Johnson's mark look vulnerable heading into 2024.

Brooks noted that 28 pass catchers surpassed 1,000 receiving yards last season, and Tyreek Hill and CeeDee Lamb each exceeded 1,700. In addition, there were 12 players who had at least 100 catches in 2023.

In looking at the biggest threats to Megatron's record, Brooks ranked Jefferson third most likely to accomplish it this season.

The league's highest-paid pass catcher should compete for the NFL's receiving record as the top option in [Vikings Head Coach] Kevin O'Connell's offense. The ultra-creative play designer utilizes various formations, pre-snap shifts and motions to loosen the coverage around Jefferson. As Jordan Addison continues to evolve into an elite WR2 [and] with T.J. Hockenson flourishing as a blue-chip playmaker (when healthy), the Vikings should be able to force the ball to Jefferson to allow him to cook defensive backs on the perimeter. Given his receiving title (2022) and stature as the NFL's WR1, Jefferson's production could match his compensation with a sensational campaign in 2024.

Brooks opined Hill as the most likely to break the record, with Amon-Ra St. Brown next. The Vikings of course are slated to face St. Brown and the division-rival Lions twice.

As the Lions continue to expand [Offensive Coordinator] Ben Johnson's playbook to generate more opportunities for St. Brown to impact the game, the numbers will continue to pop for the fourth-year pro as he chases the records belonging to one of the Lions all-time greats.

After Jefferson, Brooks looked to Steelers wideout George Pickens and Browns receiver Amari Cooper as potential options to surpass Johnson's 1,964 yards through the air.

View photos of WR Justin Jefferson with his family celebrating his contract extension.

'The Athletic' provides notes on all 90 Vikings players entering summer break

As the Vikings wrapped up OTAs and minicamp, they have a full 90-man roster (plus Sammis Reyes through the International Pathway Program) ready to have a competitive training camp.

Alec Lewis, who covers the Vikings for The Athletic, recently provided a note or two on each player on Minnesota's roster, starting with the four quarterbacks. Lewis wrote:

QB Sam Darnold: Looked sharp. Might have thrown only one interception in mandatory minicamp, and that might have been a byproduct of a poor route by his receiver.

QB J.J. McCarthy: Think of his first few months as your first few months taking a foreign language. Why rush? Why overreact? Show up, make mistakes, learn, then show up again.

QB Nick Mullens: Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Some beautiful throws — and some that made [Head Coach] Kevin O'Connell shake his head.

QB Jaren Hall: More refined than last year. Does not have a lot of velocity but knows he's the No. 4 and knows his role as a good teammate.

Lewis worked his way through the offense, noting that running back Ty Chandler is a "locker room favorite," fullback C.J. Ham is a "sneaky solid third-down pass protector" and second-year receiver Jordan Addison is "quiet but capable of extreme torture on defenses."

Lewis said the following of some of the Vikings offensive linemen:

T Christian Darrisaw: Could have missed OTAs or mandatory minicamp in pursuit of a new contract, but he didn't. Everything you want in a 25-year-old left tackle.

G Blake Brandel: The staff thinks he's capable of starting. Watch him at both left guard and right guard.

G Dalton Risner: Another option at left and right guard. The lack of free agent offers should light a fire during training camp.

G Ed Ingram: Improved in 2023 but inconsistent. Has work to do to continue starting at right guard.

C Garrett Bradbury: Don't underestimate the value of his system experience with new quarterbacks. He has produced more each year, and the Vikings hope that continues.

T Brian O'Neill: Should be better another year removed from partially torn Achilles. This is an important season considering his contract is not fully guaranteed for 2025.

Click here to see Lewis' takes on the Vikings defense and overall roster notes.