4 positive Minnesota Vikings storylines at the 2020 midseason point

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson /

Jefferson’s rise to superstardom

Justin Jefferson came to the Vikings with the sort of expectations that normally surround a first-round pick. But few would have predicted the impact he’d make in such a short amount of time.

The rookie had some big shoes to fill with Stefon Diggs leaving after the Vikings decided to remove a potential problem to the locker room and trade the receiver to the Buffalo Bills. Jefferson’s dazzling transition to the next level has been nothing short of extraordinary and superstardom already beckons for the former LSU standout if he continues his high level of production in the coming weeks.

One of the biggest compliments you can pay Jefferson is that Minnesota hasn’t missed Diggs in the slightest. The rookie’s 34 receptions, 624 receiving yards, and three touchdowns are more than even the Vikings probably hoped from their No. 22 pick at this stage of the season and the sky is the limit if he continues this upward trend moving forward.

Jefferson can make a difference all over the field. He is a polished route-runner who does his best work deep down the field, which has resulted in a lofty 18.4 yards-per-catch average for him through Week 9.

What is perhaps more impressive is the rookie’s ability to cope well with the big occasion. Jefferson has produced the goods more often than not in high-profile college matchups and even though the next level is a completely different ballgame, the early signs could not be more encouraging.