Justin Jefferson Didn’t Get Snubbed

Justin Jefferson
Jul 30, 2021; Eagan, MN, United States; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) participates in drills at training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

In my opinion, the term snubbed (at least within the context of All Pro voting) refers to a player being overlooked when he is clearly, definitively, objectively better than the winner. Folks, that’s not what happened in the recent All Pro competition. Many Vikings fans believe Justin Jefferson got snubbed, but I don’t think that’s the case.

First off, let me begin by saying that he should have been one of the top 3. If given a vote, I’d have had Jefferson on my ballot.

What actually occurred, though, was Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, and Deebo Samuel getting onto the wide receiver podium. There seems to be little concern about Adams and Kupp. To my mind, Adams is the best receiver in the NFL. His release off the line of scrimmage and route running make him as close to unguardable as it gets. Kupp, meanwhile, led seemingly every significant statistical category: “Kupp led the NFL in receptions (145), yards receiving (1,947) and TD catches (16).”

The controversy, then, is that choosing Deebo Samuel over Justin Jefferson means Minnesota’s sophomore phenom got snubbed. Clearly, it wasn’t an easy decision. Samuel received 21 votes; Jefferson received 20. If one voter saw things differently, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

For whatever it’s worth, Jefferson finished higher in PFF‘s receiver rankings. He is in third place, behind only Adams and Kupp. Samuel comes in at 6th. Moreover, Jefferson is second in the NFL with 1616 receiving yards. Samuel put up 1405, a really strong number.

The major difference rests in the rushing yards. Samuel had 365 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Jefferson is the better receiver, but one could reasonably conclude that Samuel had the better year as an offensive weapon. I don’t believe that’s actually true, though it’s not totally outlandish if someone does believe that. The 8 rushing TDs actually has Samuel in a tie for 10th overall in the NFL. Remember: he’s a receiver. He finished with 2 more rushing TDs than Dalvin Cook.

My counterpoint to the offensive weapon argument is that Jefferson is not only, in fact, the better receiver, but he was also used in unique ways. He had a handful of rushing attempts and he also completed some passes. Obviously, he wasn’t relied on like Samuel was in this regard. I’m merely pointing out that Jefferson brings a diverse skill set to the table.

Every team in the NFL would be thrilled to have Deebo Samuel and/or Justin Jefferson on their team. Forced to choose, I’d easily lean Jefferson. The kid is special. Nevertheless, I don’t think snubbed really applies to how the All Pro voting worked out. Samuel had a sensational season, so give him credit.

All I’ll say is that Jefferson just got a little more motivation. The NFL better be ready for him heading into year 3.

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