And that includes wideouts who have already tasted their own Pro Bowl experience.
Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings happens to be one of them influenced by watching Kupp lead the NFL in all three major receiving stats — telling The Ringer that the Super Bowl 56 Most Valuable Player gives him hope for his own breakout ’22 campaign.
Jefferson Explains Why Kupp Motivates Him
The 23-year-old is already in the elite tier of young wideouts, having gone to the Pro Bowl in both seasons he’s been in the league.
But Jefferson told The Ringer NFL Podcast that watching what Kupp did a season ago fuels his excitement. Why? Because Jefferson’s newest head coach Kevin O’Connell once helped call plays that fed Kupp the football.
“Just seeing what Cooper Kupp did last year, that gives me so much hope, gives me so much excitement to see what I can do in the same position that he was,” Jefferson said on the show. “Him being so close to reaching the record, him getting that triple crown, all those things that he accomplished are up in the air for me right now, so we just gotta buy into the system, learn the plays and we all have confidence that KO is going to distribute the ball to different people throughout the offense.”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jefferson has blossomed on his end. In his NFL debut, he torched defenders with 1,400 receiving yards and hauled in 88 catches with 7 touchdowns. Last season, he tasted his first-ever 100-catch season — collecting 108 passes. He also improved his yardage total to 1,616 and touchdowns to 10. However, the Vikings were called a “run-first” attack under previous head coach Mike Zimmer.
Now, the former Rams offensive coordinator O’Connell is completely changing the offense…and got the receiver behind “The Griddy” dance to unveil what kind of offense the Vikes will run moving forward to NFL Total Access on the NFL Network:
Jefferson Sees Similar Trajectory to Kupp
Even as one of the most established young receivers in the league, Jefferson believes his own trajectory mimics where Kupp was.
“Pretty much where Cooper Kupp was at, that’s pretty much where I’m at,” he said.
As Ram fans know, Kupp was the top moving chess piece for the champs. He wasn’t just situated in one spot on the field. Kupp sometimes lined up in the backfield (Indianapolis game) and was motioned out a lot.
Does Jefferson envision himself becoming the “Kupp” of this new Vikings’ offense?
“My ability to move in different positions is gonna be more. I’m able to go outside. You don’t really see Cooper Kupp lining up outside as many times as I would. Or me lining up in the backfield or lining up at different positions to get the ball,” Jefferson revealed.
Jefferson has set coverages on fire in his first two seasons in the league. But he’s shared how Kupp is going to be among his motivations this fall as he now operates in a Rams-type approach.
“He’s creative. He’s able to create space and get the ball,” Jefferson said of Kupp. “Just his whole year last year was just unbelievable, him putting up so many numbers and pretty much getting 10-plus catches a game and being wide-open. He had a fantastic season. Nobody can take that away from him. And topping the season off with winning the Super Bowl, so he definitely had an unbelievable season. He’s definitely ranked his name up even higher than it was before. He killed it.”