Justin Jefferson made quite the splash as a rookie, as the Vikings wide receiver etched himself in the record books in his first professional season.
Jefferson set a Super Bowl-era record with 1,400 receiving yards and a Vikings rookie record with 88 catches. Both marks topped Randy Moss' Vikings rookie records from his historic 1998 season.
Jefferson also found the end zone seven times (which ranked second among rookies), leading many to believe he's in store for big things in his second season.
Count Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports among them, as he recently unveiled his top 25 NFL players under the age of 25, with Jefferson landing at No. 7.
It's hard to believe now, but countless draft pundits viewed him as more of a safe than special prospect in 2020. Turns out Jefferson was both. A safety valve and elite play-maker for Kirk Cousins and Co. as a rookie, instantly replacing Stefon Diggs' swag and production, he already has the looks of a top-five starter at his position — a matchup nightmare with a knack for splash plays.
Jefferson, who turns 22 years old on June 16, was the highest-ranked wide receiver on Benjamin's list.
Quarterbacks led the way in the rankings, as Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray occupied the first three spots.
Defensive end Nick Bosa, cornerback Jaire Alexander and defensive end Chase Young then made up the list before Jefferson appeared.
Benjamin, who did not include rookies on his list, explained his criteria in selecting players.
We're counting a player as under 25 as long as they are 24 or younger when the 2021 season officially begins on Sept. 9. It doesn't matter if you turn 25 in Week 2; anyone who begins the year under 25 is in play.
That includes Jefferson, who made a few nice catches in Wednesday's Organized Team Activity practice that was open to the media.
And, as evident by this Mic’d Up video, had a ton of fun doing so.
View the best photos of Vikings rookie WR Justin Jefferson from the 2020 season.
ESPN's Seifert provides updates from virtual league meeting
The NFL held a two-day virtual league meeting earlier this week, and a few items of note were determined.
ESPN NFL reporter Kevin Seifert analyzed the news, which included an agreement from NFL owners to relax guidelines for league-wide players and staff who are fully vaccinated.
Moving forward, players and staff who are fully vaccinated will not be subject to daily testing. They will have no mask requirements, will not have to quarantine if they are exposed to a COVID-19 positive person and won't have travel restrictions. They will be allowed to eat in the team cafeteria, won't be subject to weight room capacity limits, can use the team sauna and can interact with vaccinated friends and family during travel.
Players and staff who are not fully vaccinated, Seifert wrote, will follow a different set of rules.
Those who are not fully vaccinated, however, will not receive those perks. They must still test daily, wear a mask at team facilities, follow social distancing procedures and quarantine after exposure. They will have restrictions when they travel, will be subject to capacity limits in the weight room, won't be able to use the sauna and will be prohibited from interacting with vaccinated friends and family during travel.
Additionally, Seifert reported that the league and the NFL Players Association agreed to set the 2022 salary cap ceiling at $208.2 million. The actual 2022 salary cap will be announced at a later date, likely after the 2021 season.
The owners also approved a maximum of 90 players per roster for training camps. Seifert noted there will be three cutdown days, one after each of the three preseason games:
Aug. 17: 85-man roster limit
Aug. 24: 80-man roster limit
Aug. 31: 53-man roster limit
Another item of note from the virtual meeting is that blocks below the waist can now be called as penalties in an expanded area of the field.
They may now occur only within a newly created "tight end box," defined as within 2 yards of the traditional tackle position and 5 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage. Blocking, or taking on blocks, below the waist outside of that area will carry a 15-yard penalty.
Seifert's full story can be found here.