Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is gunning for 2,000 yards this season, which would make him the first NFL wideout to do so.
There are a select few NFL running backs who have managed to rush for 2,000 yards, making the accomplishment a legendary one.
Chris Johnson is still known as “CJ2K”; Adrian Peterson did it in his award-winning 2012 season; Derrick Henry trucked through defenses to make it happen in 2020.
Despite this, there has never been an NFL wide receiver to rack up 2,000 yards, but veteran NFL cornerback Patrick Peterson knows who will be the first: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
“I don’t doubt it,” Peterson said when asked about Jefferson’s desire to break another NFL record. “I don’t doubt it. I don’t doubt it. He might have two 2,000 yards in a season.”
Vikings CB Patrick Peterson has full confidence that Justin Jefferson will start the 2,000 -yard club for NFL wide receivers
To date, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been the closest to accomplishing this feat, gaining 1,964 yards on 122 receptions (16.1 average yards). That came during Adrian Peterson’s 2,000-yard season, so Johnson didn’t get the offensive accolades he deserved as the leader on this list.
The next receiver on the list is none other than Cooper Kupp, who entered the 2021 season underrated and seen as the No. 2 option behind Robert Woods. Kupp went on to connect with Matthew Stafford for a 1,947-yard season. Kupp’s banner year earned him a Super Bowl ring, Super Bowl MVP, and an Offensive Player of the Year award.
Even getting near the 2,000-yard mark makes for a historic season for any wide receiver, so what are the odds that Jefferson can accomplish this in his third season?
Compared to most NFL wideouts, Jefferson has a pretty fantastic chance of improving and getting even closer to the mark.
Jefferson kicked off his NFL career with a 1,400-yard rookie season, which broke the record for the most yards by a rookie wideout in NFL history. Unfortunately, Jefferson’s record was broken the very next season when Ja’Marr Chase, Jefferson’s former LSU teammate, broke the record again with a 1,455-yard season.
But numbers-wise, Jefferson had the better year: he finished his sophomore season with 1,616 yards. In fact, Jefferson is already ranked No. 21 on the all-time single-season receiving yards list, ahead of greats like Michael Irvin, DeAndrea Hopkins and Davante Adams.
In a recent interview with Complex, Jefferson admitted that he’s the best in the league — and everyone will agree on that after this season.
"“I’ll say after this year, I’ll be the best receiver in the NFL… I think I have to do it three years in a row for everybody to believe so. 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 1,600 yards, too. So I think that I’ll become the best receiver after this year.”"
If Jefferson continues at the same rate, he’ll break the 2,000-yard record in at least two seasons — or, as Patrick Peterson suggested, he might just break it twice.