Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson acknowledged he didn't feel like the fifth best receiver in the last NFL draft. Jefferson, who was select by the Vikings at No. 22 in the 2020 NFL draft, was the fifth receiver to be selected in the last NFL draft.
Jefferson played lights out in his first season as he finished the year with 1,400 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. "I mean, I kind of figured it would be like that because of all of the hype those other guys had.
Those guys [Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Jalen Reagor were picked ahead of Jefferson] being the top-tier guys going into college, I knew there’d be some politics that happened in front of me. I tried not to worry about it too much, but it got to me a little bit.
I didn’t feel like I was the fifth best receiver in the draft. I just used that as determination, I used that as fuel to keep improving my game," Jefferson told the GQ Magazine. When asked to elaborate what he meant by the politics, Jefferson said: "Me being a two-star recruit, me not having that hype out of high school, not being a top-300 guy, a five star receiver.
All of those other guys were four or five stars. They had more leverage than me as far as people knowing who they are and higher up guys knowing who they are. I came in under the radar going out there doing my own little thing."
Jefferson thought he would be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles
Jefferson thought the Eagles would select him but instead whey went with Jalen Reagor. "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. 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," Jefferson revealed. "I’ll always treat every game the same, no matter who I’m playing. But Philly will definitely be edgier. You know, especially because they passed on me."