Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Thought He Would Be Drafted By Philadelphia

Published 04/22/2021, 1:03 PM EDT
Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports


Justin Jefferson had a tremendous rookie season last year. Playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Jefferson was a show from the word go. He set the field on fire with his incredible speed and eye to catch passes.

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Jefferson was a steal for the Minnesota Vikings, who got him with the 22nd overall pick. But as Jefferson reveals, he believed he was going to a different team in the draft – the Philadelphia Eagles.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson offered some insight into the same while in conversation with GQ Sport. He was one of the hottest names heading into the draft, with a lot of excitement surrounding him.

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One of the teams that were in the running to get him was the Philadelphia Eagles. Every mock draft heading into draft day had placed Jefferson with Philadelphia, as both being the ideal fit for each other.

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

“Leading up to the draft, you know, they had all of those mock drafts and people sharing their opinions on who is going to go where. A lot of people had me going to Philly. And, I thought I was going to Philly. Honestly.” 

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Justin Jefferson snubbed by the Eagles

Jefferson added that he got the call from the Minnesota Vikings while the Philadelphia Eagles were on the board. He had expected the Eagles to be making the call and thought they had, but it turned out that they hadn’t.

Regardless of the initial draft snub, Jefferson was thrilled to go to the Minnesota Vikings. Jefferson had an excellent rookie season with the franchise.

“The funny part is, Philly was on the board and then Minnesota called me. At first, I thought it was Philly. But, I answered the phone and it was Minnesota.

“It’s crazy how all of that happened and everything. But, I’m definitely, definitely, definitely excited that I’m on the Vikings rather than Philly.”

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Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Can Justin Jefferson build on his strong start in Minnesota? Jefferson was only one of two rookies to make the Pro-Bowl team last year. Furthermore, he convincingly broke the NFL’s all-time receiving record for a rookie.

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Jefferson has big things in store going forward. But he needs to carry on playing at the same level and even improve if he wants to reach the highest of highs in the NFL.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1157 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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