Justin Jefferson has been setting records and terrifying defenses since the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.
The All-Pro wide receiver already broke four franchise records, including surpassing Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Randy Moss for receptions and yards in a single season. He not only holds the NFL record for most 100-yard receiving games (24) in a player’s first three seasons, but will also have the most through four seasons even if he doesn’t have one such game in 2023.
Jefferson became the youngest player in NFL history to lead the league in yards and receptions last season on his way to earning the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.
It’s no surprise Jefferson was voted No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL by The Associated Press.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at wide receiver, making their selections based on current status entering the 2023 season. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
Jefferson received seven first-place votes. Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp also received first-place votes. Jefferson and Tyreek Hill were the only wideouts named on each ballot.
Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, De’Andre Hopkins and CeeDee Lamb also received votes.
1. JUSTIN JEFFERSON, Minnesota Vikings: Hard to believe four wide receivers were drafted ahead of Jefferson. Henry Ruggs III went No. 12 to the Raiders. Jerry Jeudy went at 15 to Denver. Lamb was the 17th pick by Dallas. The Eagles took Jalen Reagor one pick before Jefferson at No. 21, leading to a celebration in Minnesota’s draft room. The Vikings knew what they were getting. Jefferson has exceeded high expectations.
2. DAVANTE ADAMS, Las Vegas Raiders: Adams didn’t miss a step after leaving Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay and going to Las Vegas. He recorded his fourth 100-catch season, had 1,516 yards and 14 TDs while earning All-Pro honors. Adams easily outdistanced Hill for second place.
3. TYREEK HILL, Miami Dolphins: There was no letdown for Hill after leaving Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City. The four-time All-Pro had career highs in receptions (119) and yards (1,710) in his first season in Miami.
4. COOPER KUPP, Los Angeles Rams: Kupp, the 2021 Super Bowl MVP, had 75 catches for 812 yards in just nine games last year before an injury ended his season. He was halfway to matching his impressive totals from 2021 when he had 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and six TDs while earning AP Offensive Player of the Year honors.
5. JA’MARR CHASE, Cincinnati Bengals: The 2021 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year had an excellent sophomore season, catching 87 passes for 1,046 yards and nine TDs in only 12 games. Chase is a two-time Pro Bowl pick with plenty of potential to climb up the rankings. He finished one point behind Kupp.