Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Ranks Himself As Top Route Runner In NFL. Is He Correct? 

As we approach the 2023 NFL season, there will be many position rankings compiled.

From the quarterbacks to the edge rushers, and definitely the best wide receivers.

In fact, Minnesota Vikings star wideout and reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Justin Jefferson just released his top-five route runners list for wide receivers.

And the former LSU Tigers star unsurprisingly put himself at the top of the list. 

He put Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams as (1B) with him. He also included Keenan Allen of the Los Angeles Chargers, Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills), and 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals) who was also Jefferson’s college teammate at down in Baton Rouge.

Jefferson’s list is pretty solid, but is he really the game’s top route runner along with Adams?

Let’s examine his case ….

Jefferson Is An Elite Route Runner From The Slot And Outside

Most receivers aren’t dominant at multiple receiver spots, but Jefferson is the exception. In July the “Griddy King” was named the top route runner in the league by 33rd Team, a premier group of former league executives and coaches:

Justin Jefferson is in this spot because he makes cuts without slowing down or shortening his stride. Few — if any — players in history have had such an ability. It’s an incredible physical gift that Jefferson amplifies with smooth and fluid hips, twitchy joints, and therefore, supreme body control. 

His 2022 league-leading 1,809 yards would have been north of 2,000 if he’d been more consistently targeted when open (especially early in the season). And so much of Jefferson’s “open” is wide open. What’s more, everything we’ve touched on here applies to Jefferson whether he’s aligning at X receiver outside, off the ball as a Z receiver, or in the slot as an F receiver.

Jefferson Has Been Dynamic In His First Three  Seasons

Following a stellar career at LSU, which culminated in the Tigers winning the 2019 College Football Playoff national championship, Jefferson was chosen 22nd overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2020 NFL draft. 

Since his arrival all he’s done is become a three-time Pro Bowl player, two-time All-Pro, OPOY, and the leader in receptions and yards in 2022. In the opinion of many, the 24-year-old has ascended into the upper echelon of wide receivers.

And based on his production it’s hard to argue that point. 

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