Minnesota Vikings: Keeping realistic expectations for Justin Jefferson

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /

The Minnesota Vikings need to be realistic with Justin Jefferson in 2020

Back when the Minnesota Vikings shocked the football world by trading away star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, it sent fans into a panic. Yes, the Vikings acquired a lot back by trading him away but at the same token, a proven playmaker is now playing on another team. It was a tough pill to swallow at the time but by now, everyone has hopefully moved on.

With their first of two picks in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Vikings drafted wide receiver Justin Jefferson out of LSU to be an immediate replacement for Diggs. With this move, expectations will likely be insanely high for Jefferson to step right in and take care of business.

In the grand scheme of things, the Vikings and their loyal fans need to be realistic when it comes to Jefferson and the impact he’ll likely have this upcoming season. Of course, we all want him to succeed but just because he’ll have a few dropped easy passes, some miscues, and big mistakes made, doesn’t mean he’ll be a bust. It’s all a part of the process, as is with any rookie that enters a whole new chapter of their life.

Justin Jefferson will carve his own legacy on the Minnesota Vikings

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There will undoubtedly be growing pains for Jefferson as there is no telling how his transition to the pros will be. He might have an easy one where he’ll thrive but the majority of times, a rookie wide receiver will easily need a few weeks, months, or even years to finally put everything together.

Nobody should expect Jefferson to replace the impact, production, and presence that Diggs had over the last five seasons now. It’s unrealistic, to say the least, as it’s best to let Jefferson simply be Jefferson. He’s not going to be Diggs 2.0 or anything like that as he’ll carve his own legacy doing what he does best.

The Vikings’ offense for the most part last season, was a strength of the team. It’ll look a bit different but the core remains the same, which is oftentimes a good thing. If anything, Jefferson should complement those around him nicely with the dimension he’ll add on offense. Jefferson is a premier red-zone threat that excels in route-running, hauling in tough passes, and catches almost everything thrown his way. That in itself will be something to look forward to on game day as he makes his presence known.

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Overall, it might take some time, but Jefferson will eventually find his ways on the Vikings’ offense and do his best to help this team win football games in 2020. Don’t think he’s going to immediately become a top No. 1 receiving threat as it’s unrealistic going into his rookie season. If anything, he’ll have some great moments, some not so great moments, but in the end, will begin his journey doing his absolute best week in, week out. That’s all anyone can ask for by a rookie when it comes to realistic expectations.