Justin Jefferson was the fifth receiver selected in the NFL Draft. It didn’t sit well with him, not at all.
Jefferson, who tied for the NCAA lead with 111 receptions in 2019, watched the Philadelphia Eagles pass on him at pick 21 when they opted for TCU speedster Jalen Reagor. The slot wideout from LSU sat idly by on draft night as the Eagles, Raiders, Broncos and Cowboys all passed on his services. The Vikings finally took Jefferson in the first round, one spot after the Eagles at pick 22. He wasn’t happy and intends to make everyone learn from their mistake.
“Every single person that picked a receiver instead of me are going to pay. I’m going to show them that I am the better receiver than the pick that they had,” Jefferson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’m definitely excited to go into Minnesota and [compete] for [a] Super Bowl.”
Keep mind, Jefferson finished third in the NCAA in receiving yards (1,540), second in receiving touchdowns (18) and ninth in receiving yards per game (102.7). He also averaged 13.9 yards-per-catch while helping LSU win the national championship.
“I felt like I was the best receiver in this draft class, and being the fifth receiver off the board, it kind of was a shocker, Jefferson said, via CBS Sports. “But also having that on my shoulder going into this next season with Minnesota, I’m definitely excited to show the world what I have.”
Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Former Eagles Player Turned Analyst Rips Reagor Pick
Meanwhile, Jefferson’s argument about being slighted got verbal applause from Brian Baldinger. The former Eagles offensive lineman ripped Philadelphia’s front office for falling “in love with analytics” and criticized them for drafting track stars over football players.
“Whoever is running the analytics department, they must be paying him a lot of money, Baldinger told Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie on SportsRadio 94WIP. “Speed is a great thing. That’s great if you’re on the field and you know how to use it, but I mean if you’re just developing it doesn’t do you any good.”
When it came specifically to taking Reagor over Jefferson, Baldinger unleashed all his venom. It seemed to be a change in opinion from an earlier analysis when Baldinger called Reagor the “most dangerous return man in the draft.”
“I don’t even know how they made that pick,” Baldinger told the radio station. “The Minnesota Vikings spit their teeth out when they passed on Justin Jefferson. It’s not close. If the Eagles think over there at NovaCare that Justin Jefferson is a slot receiver, they didn’t do their homework.”
Top Eagles Pick Teases Jersey Number on Twitter
Reagor wore No. 1 during his final two years in college but receivers aren’t allowed to wear single-digit numbers in the NFL. The Eagles’ top draft pick did don No. 18 for his freshman campaign at TCU, so that has emerged as his likely choice.
On Tuesday, the speedster posted “Number coming soon” on Twitter and caused a frenzy in Philly. Again, the expectation is that he’ll pick No. 18. Backup quarterback Josh McCown wore No. 18 last year but he’s gone and the number is available.
Shelton Gibson and Dorial Green-Beckham have worn No. 18 in recent years, but the last truly great receiver to wear it was Jeremy Maclin who left Philadelphia after the 2014 season. One of the most underrated players in Eagles’ franchise history, Maclin accumulated 4,771 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns in five seasons.
If Reagor decides to go with No. 18, he’ll have a lot to live up to. Maclin was beloved by Eagles fans and served as the team’s honorary captain in 2019 before the Jets-Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field.