E Point Perfect

Justin Jefferson Already Has Sights Set on Ohio

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is slicing and dicing NFL and Vikings record books, but his long-term goals are even broader.

Last week, Jefferson joined Patrick Claybon on NFL Network to explain his desire for Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio. Jefferson is likely 20 years away from that day — if he makes it at all — but his goal is to earn the NFL’s highest individual honor.

Jefferson told Clayborn, “I mean I want to accomplish so much. It’s an endless list that I want to accomplish. At the end of the day, I want to be a Hall of Famer. So, in order to reach that, that position is so much more that I have to accomplish, so much more that I have to set for myself to better myself and really to learn.”

And the 23-year-old is on a righteous path to realizing his ambition. Through two seasons, Jefferson’s 3,016 receiving yards are more than any player in NFL history in the first two seasons of a career. Indeed, Jefferson has tallied more yards through two seasons than Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Odell Beckham, and other greats. His 17 receiving touchdowns through the first two seasons of a career rank fifth in NFL history, too.

The 2022 Vikings Pre-Draft Depth Chart
Justin Jefferson

Jefferson will also benefit from a philosophical shift from the Vikings offense. For two seasons, Jefferson played under a “run first” banner advertised by former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. But Zimmer was fired in January, paving the way for an offensive-minded head coach, Kevin O’Connell, to lead the Vikings. Minnesota is expected to pass more with O’Connell calling plays.

In the same interview with Claybon, Jefferson even mentioned an obituary of the run-first tendencies, “Our offensive style, it’s not a run-first offense anymore. Just us being able to put different people in different positions and distribute the ball. We’re just excited to start it up, really. We want to see how this season really turns out for us.”

Vikings Will End 51-Year Drought at Soldier Field in 2022
Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings already have 22 players who spent significant time in purple — later inducted into the Hall of Fame. If Jefferson joins, he will become around the 24th player as former Vikings halfback Adrian Peterson is a shoo-in for Canton. These are the Vikings currently enshrined:

  • Morten Andersen
  • Dave Casper
  • Cris Carter
  • Chris Doleman
  • Carl Eller
  • Brett Favre
  • Jim Finks
  • Bud Grant
  • Steve Hutchinson
  • Paul Krause
  • Jim Langer
  • Randy Moss
  • Randall McDaniel
  • Warren Moon
  • Hugh McElhenny
  • Alan Page
  • John Randle
  • Jan Stenerud
  • Fran Tarkenton
  • Mick Tingelhoff
  • Raon Yary
  • Gary Zimmerman

Jefferson’s quest continues this September as the Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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