Justin Jefferson Is the Only Non-QB Among the 5 MVP Finalists

Justin Jefferson Can Break All Sorts of Records in 2023
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has begun releasing their finalists for the 2022 season’s awards. Among those awards is the Most Valuable Player award, and Vikings fans will be happy to see that star wide receiver Justin Jefferson has in fact made the list after an historic 2022 season. In fact, Jefferson is the only non-QB to make the list of MVP finalists. The full list is as follows:

  • QB Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)
  • QB Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • QB Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • QB Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)
  • WR Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)

The MVP award has long been considered a QB-exclusive award. Further proving that is the fact that no non-QB has won the award since Adrian Peterson did so with the Vikings in 2012. Only three non-QBs have won the award since 2000, and all three were running backs (Marshall Faulk, 2000; Ladainian Tomlinson, 2006; Peterson, 2012).

It’s very unlikely that Jefferson will win the award, but his inclusion among the final five is extremely warranted. He led the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards during 2022 and broke Randy Moss’ Vikings franchise record for receiving yards in a single season. Despite that, it doesn’t change the fact that a wide receiver has never won the MVP award.

A New First Is Coming for Justin Jefferson
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) warms up wearing a shirt honoring Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin (3) before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

In all, every candidate on this list is deserving of recognition for their accomplishments in 2022. Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes are about to compete for the AFC Championship, and Jalen Hurts has helped the lead the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game.

As for Josh Allen, he had another spectacular season with the Buffalo Bills, being one of just three players to pass for 4000+ yards and 35+ touchdowns. The other two are Burrow and Mahomes. It’s also worth noting that the voting for the award took place prior to the playoffs, so Buffalo’s playoff loss to Cincinnati as well as the result of Cincinnati/Kansas City this weekend won’t bear any weight in the result of this award.

How Much Will the Vikings Pay Justin Jefferson?
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In all, there have been three Minnesota Vikings to win the MVP award. The first of which was DT Alan Page in 1971. He also won Defensive Player of the Year during that season. Then, QB Fran Tarkenton won MVP in 1975. He helped lead the Vikings to a 12-2 record that season and passed for 2994 yards, 25 TDs, and 13 INTs.

Finally, Peterson was the third in 2012. During that season, the Vikings went 10-6, making the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Peterson finished that season with 2097 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs. He also added 40 receptions for 217 receiving yards and an additional touchdown. He finished 8 rushing yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season record.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson jogs onto the field before the start of the Minnesota Vikings game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec, 18, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

The winner of the MVP award will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony on February, 9th. The 12th annual ceremony will be shown live on NBC, Peacock, and NFL Network.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.