Justin Jefferson’s Next Goal? Overcoming Davante Adams

Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive back Dontae Johnson (27) and defensive back K'Waun Williams (24) tackle Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK

I’ve said before that I think Davante Adams is the best receiver in the NFL. That being said, it’s a pretty difficult debate. Cooper Kupp definitely belongs in the conversation, and many would insist he’s better than Adams. At worst, I’m putting Justin Jefferson at third overall. If I had to choose one for my team, I’d easily choose Minnesota’s star receiver; he’s still only 23.

Recently, Minnesota’s WR1 acknowledged that he isn’t the best receiver in the NFL. In Jefferson’s mind, it’s Adams who takes the top spot:

I definitely have to give it to Davante Adams as of now, him being so crazy and dynamic on the field. His route running is crazy, so I definitely have to give it to him right now, but I’m pretty sure after this year, it’s going to be me.

He goes on:

Some people don’t think that after two years you deserve to be at the top of the league. And then me, I feel like I’m going to surpass 1600 yards too. So I think that I’ll become the best receiver after this year.

One thing that’s worth monitoring is how Adams performs outside of Green Bay. The receiver has spent his entire career with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Now, he’ll be catching passes from Derek Carr in Las Vegas. The QB downgrade alongside the switch to the Josh McDaniels offense may cause the elite receiver to put forth less formidable numbers.

Meanwhile, Jefferson will be dealing with his own changes. Kevin O’Connell is implementing his offense in Minnesota, meaning Jefferson is working with his third OC in as many seasons. The expectation is that the third-year WR will adjust well to the K/O offense, but we’ll need to wait and see. If Kirk Cousins falters, then that’ll obviously have an impact on the pass catchers.

The NFL is full of impressive talent at receiver. Adams, Kupp, and Jefferson are a strong top 3. After them, there is Ja’Marr Chase, Deebo Samuel, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Terry McLaurin, and Keenan Allen (among others). The point, folks, is that solidifying oneself as the NFL’s preeminent receiver is no small feat. Replicating last season’s brilliance – especially if it coincides with the team making a deep playoff run – will prompt evaluators to think long and hard about whether Justin Jefferson is the league’s best receiver.