Justin Jefferson can be a versatile NFL receiver, but there are concerns about his lack of ability to play outside. He spent the majority of his collegiate career in the slot, but he still took some snaps out on the perimeter.
The Vikings will be able to move players around and keep defenses guessing, but finding ways for Jefferson and Adam Thielen to mesh might take some time. Minnesota’s new receiver can probably play out wide if needed, but there might be a bit of delay in his progress.
Jefferson is a very nuanced route-runner as a prospect, but he can still improve his ability to create space at the top of his routes. He makes up for it by successfully attacking the ball in tight coverage. However, he will need to find a way to create more consistent separation at the next level.
Not a Dominant Athlete
There are other players in this draft who are much better athletes than Jefferson. While he is a fine athlete, he is not a freak of nature by any means.
Jefferson is not going to take the top off a defense or blow the brakes off of opposing cornerbacks. He should be given a chance to thrive as a slot receiver without being forced to make “wow” plays. He will create after the catch, but he will not catch your eye with speed and leaping ability on a consistent basis.