Lunchbreak: Pro Football Focus Says Diggs on 'Cusp of Elite Status'

Stefon Diggs has put up eye-catching numbers in his first three seasons in the NFL, recording 200 catches for 2,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in 40 career games.

But some around the league believe the Vikings wide receiver will be even better going forward.

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus recently wrote that Diggs is one of a handful of NFL players who is on the cusp of elite status as the 2018 draws near.

Gayle wrote:

All 32 NFL teams passed on Diggs at least once, and now, all but one of the 32 wished they hadn’t.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Diggs was thought to have no chance along the boundary at the next level, but he’s since proved any doubters wrong. In Diggs’ three years in the NFL, he has run 64.7 percent of his 1,317 career routes away from the slot, and on said routes, he has averaged 1.94 yards per route run (YPRR) to rank 25th among wide receivers with at least 700 routes run over the past three seasons. He also ranks 25th in three-year slot YPRR (1.76) and 20th in total YPPR from all alignments (1.88), proving his worth inside and out.

The former Maryland standout was a fifth-round pick in 2015 before turning into one of the top receivers in the league. Diggs was recently ranked as the 65th-best player in the NFL by his peers.

Gayle noted that the 2017 season was Diggs’ best one so far with the Vikings. He had 64 catches for 849 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns.

In addition to his three years of consistent, high-end production, Diggs put together a career year in 2017, ranking eighth among qualifying wide receivers in overall grade at 85.4. He ranked second in passer rating when targeted (120.4) and 19th in drop rate (5.88) among wide receivers with at least 82 catchable targets.

Earning 82.6-plus overall grades in every year of his career and still trending up as of late, Diggs is making a case for a seat among the league’s best at the wide receiver position heading into Year 4 of his NFL journey.

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3 former Vikings on CFB Hall of Fame ballot

A trio of former Vikings are among the 76 players on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Former Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian, linebacker E.J. Henderson and guard Steve Hutchinson are up for consideration for the 2019 class.

Tim Yotter of Viking Update wrote about each of the finalists and their collegiate accomplishments.

Berrian was a receiver for Fresno State who earned first-team All-American honors as a kick returner when he led the nation in all-purpose yards (2,776) in 2001. He finished his collegiate career with as the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in career all-purpose yards (5,828) and tied the Fresno State school record for career touchdown catches (25). He was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection.

Henderson was a star Maryland, where he earned the 2002 Bednarik and Butkus awards and helped advance the Terrapins to the Orange Bowl after finishing No. 11 in the country. While Maryland won the ACC title in 2001, Henderson was the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Hutchinson was a unanimous first-team All-American for Michigan in 2000 and the Wolverines won four bowl games during his time there, including the 1997 National Championship at the Rose Bowl, as well as three Big Ten titles. He was one of only seven players in Big Ten history to be named a four-time all- conference selection.

The 2019 class will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, California. The city is serving as the host for the College Football Playoff National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi’s Stadium.

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