10 bold predictions for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /

Justin Jefferson will lead the league in receiving yards

Justin Jefferson will have a major role in the Vikings’ new offense, but it isn’t like he’s been ignored in his first two seasons. Jefferson ranks seventh with 292 targets since entering the league in 2020 and has the most receiving yards of any player within the first two years of his career in NFL history.

Still, there were times when Jefferson was misused due to the conservative nature of Zimmer’s offense. Part of that could be on the quarterback, but those things shouldn’t happen under O’Connell.

Jefferson only ranks behind Davante Adams in yards per route run over the past two seasons and O’Connell would be unwise not to utilize his prowess downfield. Many have pegged Jefferson to be in “The Cooper Kupp Role,” but that transition might not translate into a jump in his receptions or touchdowns.

With Adam Thielen and his 24 touchdowns over the past two seasons on the roster, Jefferson may have to settle for one of the three triple crown categories. If the Vikings win more games because of it, nobody will care.