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#pounditSaturday, December 5, 2020

Richard Sherman has very high praise for Vikings’ Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has made an immediate impact in the NFL as a rookie, and he has caught the attention of at least one opposing player who is almost certainly headed to the Hall of Fame someday.

On his Pro Football Focus podcast with NBC’s Cris Collinsworth this week, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman had extremely high praise for Jefferson. He said the former LSU star has looked like anything but a rookie in his first NFL season.

“I can’t think of a comparison,” Sherman said. “He’s very unique in his route-running. I think if you put some Marvin Jones, some Allen Robinson in there … He’s very veteran, even his slants he’s able to put a little extra wiggle in the short amount of time you have to run those routes.

“That’s what is making it really difficult for defenders is because he’s a rookie and he’s playing like he’s a five- or six-year veteran. He’s not only taking advantage of the opportunity but showing all the people who thought he was just a slot receiver, thought he wasn’t a great route-runner — he’s putting on a clinic week in and week out.”

Sherman is one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NFL, so compliments from him mean something. He’s quick to knock receivers down a peg if he feels they’re overrated, but he believes Jefferson has already shown enough in just nine NFL games.

Jefferson’s 762 receiving yards rank seventh in the NFL, and just 70 of those came in the first two weeks combined. His 18.1 yards per reception are good for fourth in the NFL.

There’s no questioning Jefferson’s talent and explosive ability, and his hunger for greatness is clearly there.

“My dream is to be a Hall of Famer, being one of the best receivers at this position,” Jefferson told reporters this week, via Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune. “I’ve just got a long way to go. This is my first year, first couple games of my career. Just got to keep learning, just keep buying into the system.”

Jefferson became a household name with his record-breaking performance in the College Football Playoff last year, but some still wondered if his game would translate to the NFL. It only took him half a season to answer those questions.

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