Saturday, December 31, 2022

Justin Jefferson


ESPN - "Inside Justin Jefferson's record-breaking, physics-defying rise with the Minnesota Vikings"

" HE RUNS DOWNFIELD as if traveling on grooves. He reaches full speed within two strides, his feet like stones skipping across a flat lake, his hips swerving in and out of cuts without betraying his intent. Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson is a storm that feels far away until it's suddenly overhead. Defenders must feel like they're trying to cover a cloud.

There's a word for the way Jefferson moves on a football field, and it's a word that isn't normally associated with a sport that revels in its brutality. But watch this man long enough -- the edge-of-a-cliff stops, the strides unchanging even as the ball nears, the head remaining on the same flat plane through his route -- and only one word spreads its arms wide enough to capture the nature of the experience: elegant.

Watching him run is like thumbing through a flipbook. The 9-2 Vikings are running away with the NFC North, and Jefferson is on his way to breaking or at least challenging several NFL milestones. He's already the all-time leader in receiving yards for the first three seasons, and with 1,232 yards through 11 games, he's got an outside shot at becoming the league's first 2,000-yard receiver. He was the first to amass 3,000 yards in his first two seasons, and he and Michael Thomas share the record for most receptions (196) in the first two seasons of an NFL career. But the statistics are just a litany of the mundane. They ignore the visceral moments, the way the eye is drawn to the electric, defibrillator-paddle jolt of his talents."

Star Tribune - "Justin Jefferson cracks the code of NFL superstardom"

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