Vikings’ Gary Kubiak on Justin Jefferson as Week 1 starter
The Minnesota Vikings used the No. 22 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Justin Jefferson out of LSU. Despite his early selection, Jefferson isn’t guaranteed to start to begin the season. Gary Kubiak, Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, spoke about Jefferson’s chances to be a Week 1 starter, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
#Vikings OC Gary Kubiak says he's been very impressed with Justin Jefferson. Will he be a Day 1 starter? "We're going to find out. We're going to let these guys compete.'' Says he looks at the top four receivers as starters.
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) August 16, 2020
Near the beginning of free agency, the Vikings elected to trade Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a slew of draft picks. With the first-round pick that Minnesota received from Buffalo, they used it to select Diggs’ expected replacement.
In his final season at LSU in 2019, the 6-foot-1 receiver put together a stellar showing for NFL scouts to see. While Joe Burrow was the talk of the town in college football, Jefferson hauled in 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Upon his arrival to the Vikings, Jefferson is projected to help replace the production left behind by Diggs. Even though Jefferson hasn’t had much on-field work yet, he’s seemingly been saying and doing the right things this offseason.
Coming out of college, Jefferson is a polished route runner with strong hands that mainly operated out of the slot. Due to the majority of his snaps coming out of the slot, some teams questioned if he could excel on the outside.
Besides Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Olabisi Johnson, Tajae Sharpe, and Chad Beebe are the other notable wide receivers on the roster. Meanwhile, Irv Smith Jr. figures to have an expanded role in the passing game this season. Despite Kubiak’s vague response to Jefferson’s starting status, it’s hard to believe he won’t be on the field when Minnesota kicks off their season in Week 1.