Justin Jefferson Comes in at No. 17 on the NFL Top-100 List

Justin Jefferson
May 26, 2021; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) participates in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The final 20 players on the NFL’s Top-100 were revealed on Sunday night, and among this group, there were five receivers. Justin Jefferson came in at No. 17, and he was ranked as the fourth-best receiver in the league. Here are where all five of the receivers fell in Sunday’s final reveal:

  • No. 19 Deebo Samuel
  • No. 17 Justin Jefferson
  • No. 15 Tyreek Hill
  • No. 7 Davante Adams
  • No. 4 Cooper Kupp

In terms of his actual placement on the list, Jefferson lands between Indianapolis Colts LB Shaquille Leonard at No. 18 and Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons at No. 16.

Over his first two seasons, Jefferson has quickly emerged as one of the best players in the entire league, and ahead of his third season, he has skyrocketed 36 places on this list. He was ranked No. 53 in 2021 while going unranked prior to his rookie season. Here is NFL.com‘s reasoning behind his placement this year:

The third-youngest player featured on the Top 100, Jefferson, 23 years old and three weeks younger than the player at No. 16, followed up his stellar rookie campaign with 108 receptions for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns to improve his ranking 36 spots (second-best improvement on the 2022 Top 100). Possessing an uncanny ability to find open space and the athleticism to run some of the smoothest routes in the league, Jefferson’s exuberance on the football field not only sets him apart from his contemporaries but makes him the poster child for Generation Z. To think the Vikings’ young star is still improving after consecutive Pro Bowl seasons is chilling, especially as he approaches his first season with an offensive-minded coach in 2022.

-Michael Baca via NFL.com

Not only is Jefferson the youngest player in the top-20 of this list, but he has been the most prolific receiver in the entire league since entering the NFL in 2020. His 3016 receiving yards are more than any other player in that span, topping Davante Adams’ total of 2927 by nearly 100 yards.

Heading into 2022, Jefferson has his sights even higher. He’s proclaimed that he will be considered the NFL’s top receiver by the end of the season, and he has a goal of hitting 2000 yards this year–something no one has ever done.

These are big shoes to fill, especially considering the historic season that Cooper Kupp just had. Kupp’s 2021 receiving total of 1947 sits as the second-highest of any single season. The Rams receiver also won the receiving triple crown by leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. It was the first time anyone had accomplished the feat since Steve Smith did it with the Panthers in 2005.

As daunting that the task Jefferson has set for himself is, he certainly has the means to conquer it. He is extremely talented as a player, and he now has Kupp’s former offensive coordinator as his head coach. The stage is set for 13 days from now as the Vikings open the season against the Green Bay Packers; we’ll see how the third-year player performs.

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