Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson may have the most opportunity of any rookie taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jefferson, drafted 22nd overall with a pick the Vikings received in the Stefon Diggs trade, is a favorite to take over as the starting wide receiver opposite of Adam Thielen after Diggs owned the majority target share in the Vikings offense a season ago.
And Jefferson has been planning accordingly, most recently starting his first day of training with NFL and NBA trainer Justin Allen in Houston on Saturday.
Rookie third-rounder Cam Dantzler and Holton Hill, entering his third season with the Vikings, joined Jefferson in Houston. The two will be contending for spots in a wide-open cornerbacks room after the departure of started Xavier Rhodes, Mackenzie Alexander and Trae Waynes.
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Jefferson’s Friendly Roast of His Former Rival
There was no hesitation by Jefferson in sharing his support and excitement when the Vikings drafted Dantzler 89th overall.
Dantzler, who played at Mississippi State and against Jefferson’s national champion LSU Tigers, locked down Jefferson’s teammate Ja’Marr Chase (the NCAA’s top wide receiver in 2019) last fall.
Jefferson’s respect for his former SEC Conference rival didn’t keep him from a little roasting session on Twitter. Dantzler posted a photo of him playing against Arkansas last season and Jefferson offered to help Dantzler with his swag this season.
Then things began to spiral. Jefferson’s LSU teammate Kristian Fulton called out Dantzler’s long socks.
Dantzler responded saying “I was going old school that game bro chill.” He offered up another photo that was more fitting of his critics’ taste.
NFLPA Advises Against Player Workouts
NFL Players Association executive director Demaurice Smith recently addressed his disappointment in many NFL players continuing to work out with each other in the offseason.
Smith, in an interview with USA Today, said “they’re not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp, and I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season.”
Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFLPA’s medical director, issued a statement advising players to avoid working out with teammates to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The statement was made after around 10 teams reported positive coronavirus tests for at least one player, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported.
“All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts,” Smith said. “We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interests. Let’s just say for some of the players who have practiced, we’ve made sure that they’ve heard the message.”
Training camps are still scheduled to start in late July, but the Hall of Fame Game, the league’s annual preseason opener has already been canceled.