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Vikings drafts Justin Jefferson with 22nd overall pick

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson goes to the Minnesota Vikings with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft. We break down his fantasy football potential as a rookie and long term.

LSU Tigers wide receiver Justin Jefferson against the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson goes 22nd overall to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings needed a replacement for Stefon Diggs and they got a strong one in Jefferson. He should pair nicely with Adam Thielen, giving Kirk Cousins two top receivers to target in 2020. His ability as a deep play maker will be needed, but he has the chops to work the whole route tree, giving the Vikings a similar offense to what they had with Diggs.

Jefferson was one of the most productive wideouts in college football last season. While he was LSU’s second best receiver — behind Ja’Marr Chase — he was top three in the country in more than one statistical category. He led the country in receptions (111), second in receiving touchdowns (18), and third in receiving yards (1,540). Being a part of the most dynamic offense in the FBS worked wonders for Jefferson in 2019.

Scouting Report

Jefferson excels at winning 50/50 balls thanks to his incredible body control. If the ball is thrown in his general area, he has a good chance to haul it in. His route running could use some work, as well as his separation skills. His reliance on physical tools could come back to bite him when facing more skilled cornerbacks who can bump him off his route and challenge him in the air more efficiently.

Fantasy football impact

Rookie

Jefferson shouldn’t have any trouble winning the No. 2 job behind Adam Thielen and quickly become a good target for Cousins. That might not mean quick fantasy success in an offense that will run the ball with a lead but Cousins is a good quarterback and could get Jefferson splash plays early on. He’ll be inconsistent as most rookie receivers are, but he has the ability to make the NFL leap quickly, especially in a strong offense like the Vikings.

Long-term

Jefferson will be an impact player in the NFL and should start for the majority of his career. He shouldn’t be your first wideout selection. He could be a solid WR2 or flex though. His receiving yardage might not pop at the next level, but his catch radius and ability to contort his body and come down will the ball in traffic could help him become a top-notch red zone target. That could help him maintain desirable touchdowns regardless of who he plays for. He might not ever be a WR1, but you can count on him to crack the top 30 in standard and PPR leagues.