Remember Justin Jefferson? The kid from LSU took shots at all the teams who passed on on him coming out college, including the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings took Jefferson at No. 22, exactly one pick after the Birds selected Jalen Reagor out of TCU. It was a move hotly debated at the time and now critics are pulling out stats as evidence that Philly made a mistake.
Jefferson, per Pro Football Focus, is the highest-rated receiver — not just rookie, overall — in the NFL right now with a 90.6 grade. Adding insult to injury, Jefferson is tied for the league lead for most receptions on passes 20+ yard down the field. Tied with D.K. Metcalf, the guy the Eagles passed on in 2019 to take J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Bad things happen in Philadelphia.
The Vikings rookie has 16 catches for 348 yards, including a spectacular 71-yard touchdown. He ranks eighth in receiving yards (348), third in yards-per-catch (21.8), and 16th in yards-after-catch (126). There’s a lot of season left and Reagor has only played in two games due to injury (shoulder, thumb) so don’t get too worried. The Eagles rookie flashed promise in his limited snaps, with five catches for 96 yards plus a 55-yard reception in Week 1.
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Jefferson Vowed to Make Everyone ‘Pay’
Not lacking in confidence, the 21-year-old vowed to show every team who passed on him the huge mistake they made in fiery comments at the end of April. The Eagles were clearly one of those franchises, although he didn’t mention them by name.
“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.”
Did Reagor Call Out Fans Over Jefferson?
Following Jefferson’s coming-out party last week — seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown — Reagor seemed to take aim at his doubters on Twitter. The message has since been deleted but an Eagles fan captured the evidence.
There was also this now-deleted gem from Reagor, possibly referencing Eagles fans throwing snowballs at Santa Claus.
Again, it’s way too early in both player’s careers to say which pick was the right one. Reagor had a promising start in Philly and hopefully, he’ll be back soon to shut everyone up.
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