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Vikings Preview: Kirk Cousins Begins Life With out Stefon Diggs
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The Minnesota Vikings have excessive expectations for Justin Jefferson as an sufficient substitute for Stefon Diggs, regardless that the rookie wideout goes by a steep studying curve in the mean time. In accordance with the Athletic’s Chad Graff, Jefferson is the “clear No. 3 possibility proper now” at huge receiver on the Vikings, behind Adam Thielen — as anticipated — and Bisi Johnson. 

Johnson is clearly the shock of the group. He had 31 catches in his rookie yr — good for fifteenth amongst first-year gamers. His 294 receiving yards have been nineteenth amongst all rookies and his three touchdowns have been tied for eleventh. The seventh-round decide was set to battle for a roster spot in coaching camp, however has discovered his means into the beginning lineup after every week of apply. What’s much more stunning is that free agent signing Tajae Sharpe and 2020 fifth-round decide Ok.J. Osborn aren’t forward of Johnson on the depth chart both. 

Why is Jefferson the No. 3 huge receiver an enormous deal in Minnesota? The Vikings do not run many three-wide receiver units to start with, working “11 personnel” simply 25% of the time final season (per Sharp Soccer Stats) — the bottom share within the NFL. Minnesota ran “21 personnel” (two working backs) 21% of the time — second within the NFL — and “12 personnel” (two tight ends) 34% of the time, additionally second within the league. 

If Jefferson is the No. 3 huge receiver in Minnesota, he is not getting on the sector a lot. Jefferson was arguably the perfect slot receiver in school final season, however the lack of “11 personnel” hurts his possibilities with the Vikings until offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak provides a brand new wrinkle to the offense completely different from Kevin Stefanski. 

Whether or not Jefferson is an efficient match with the Vikings stays to be seen, however he nonetheless must acclimate himself to the offense. Kirk Cousins does not seem too involved together with his progress. 

“I believe he is simply doing a pleasant job right here getting the play name within the huddle, getting out, getting lined up, understanding the place to go, what to do, the depth to go on the route and in the end why you convey him in is for the pure stuff,” Cousins mentioned. “Studying the performs takes time irrespective of how good you’re, however when the instincts can take over and you can also make nice performs, that is what you are in search of.”

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