Minnesota Vikings rookie Justin Jefferson is considered one of the most pro-ready rookies in the NFL.
In a month, he’ll have the chance to prove it but in the meantime, he’s been refining his game. He recently took his best shot at an iconic catch of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., reaching back and collecting a ball one-handed during a workout session this past weekend.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) July 7, 2020
While Jefferson’s catch pales in comparison until he pulls it off in a real game, he didn’t hesitate to call out Beckham by tagging him in the video on Instagram. Beckham Jr. responded sarcastically, “Stay outtttttaaaa my playboooook man.”
Jefferson recently told NBC Sports podcaster and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms that the two “have some similarities” in their play:
I’ve been watching him for so long. Just kind of seeing what he does and then going out on the field and trying to do the same thing… Just kind of having that little signature movement that he does during his routes or his moves after catch all of that plays a part in my game today and he’s just a part of my game that I enjoy having and that I’m excited to bring into the league.
It’s no surprise Jefferson has mirrored Beckham Jr.’s style. Jefferson’s older brothers played with Beckham Jr. at LSU, including his eldest brother Jordan who was a quarterback during Beckham Jr.’s freshman year.
Beckham Jr. is becoming of an “older brother” to Jefferson, which does come with some familial mischief. Beckham Jr. stirred up some controversy after he gave several Tigers players cash during the celebration following LSU’s national championship victory over Clemson.
Jefferson confirmed he donated the money to a church at the NFL Combine. Here’s more footage from his offseason workout.
Great Session with @Vikings Justin Jefferson (@JJettas2 ) and the Successor Koy Moore ( @asap_koy ) @LSUfootball , @RaginCajunsFB QB Chandler Fields (@1chandlerfields) was out dime dropping.. #camphardy #itsjustdifferent. pic.twitter.com/yQPohrgIBX
— CAMP HARDY (@CAMP_HARDY) July 6, 2020
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Justin Jefferson Among Anticipated Players to Watch in Preseason
With Jefferson doing his best Beckham Jr. impersonations in the offseason, the anticipation has already been building to see the LSU star get his first taste of NFL action.
Jefferson was named the Vikings player that fans and team decision-makers should be excited to see in the 2020 preseason, per Bleacher Report. Kristopher Knox said that while it’s unfair to expect Jefferson to “outright replace” Diggs, “he has the potential to do just that.”
Drafted No. 22 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jefferson led the NCAA in catches (111) and contested-catch percentage (92.3) last season at LSU. The Tigers went unbeaten en route to a national championship, and Jefferson was crucial in their record-breaking season.
— JJETS✈️ (@JJettas2) June 10, 2020
Justin Jefferson’s Historic Peach Bowl Performance
The game that put Jefferson on the map of many casual college football observers was his performance in the Peach Bowl against Oklahoma. He caught 14 passes for 227 yards four touchdowns, which ties a bowl game record for most TDs scored.
What made Jefferson’s performance even more miraculous than those who did it before him? He scored all four of his touchdowns in the first half.
Only 6 players have ever caught 4 TDs in a bowl game.
Justin Jefferson did it in ONE HALF.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 28, 2019
His four-TD highlight reel showed his versatility, scoring on a slant across the slot and grinding his legs to the end zone. He then beat a defender deep and snagging two more passes with a defender in his face, then draped over his shoulders.LSU ousted the Sooners 63-28 and went on to defeat Clemson 42-25 to claim the national title.
Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire