Henry Ruggs was the first wideout off the board at No. 12 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders, Jerry Jeudy followed to the Denver Broncos at No. 15, the Dallas Cowboys took CeeDee Lamb two picks later, and the Philadelphia Eagles took Jalen Reagor with the No. 21 pick.
All were picked before Jefferson, who vows to punish those teams for passing on him.
“Every single person that picked a receiver instead of me are going to pay,” Jefferson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’m going to show them that I am the better receiver than the pick that they had. . . . I’m definitely excited to go into Minnesota and [compete] for [a] Super Bowl.”
Jefferson will replace recently traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who was sent to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a first-round draft pick. Diggs was productive for the Vikings, averaging 82 receptions for 1,075 yards and 7.5 touchdowns over the last two seasons, but Jefferson isn’t too worried about filling his shoes.
“I never really was afraid of pressure,” Jefferson said. “I never really was trying to avoid pressure. Pressure busts pipes. So in order to control everything, you just kind of got to be your own. You got to go in this time, this zone, that you have to be in, having to work out by yourself. You kind of have to be in right now. I’m just putting in the time and the effort and just doing all these workouts, just trying to stay in shape and just trying to go into Minnesota with my mind focused on what I have to accomplish.”
Jefferson showed a lot of promise at LSU. In 2019, he had 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was a key piece for the Tigers in a national championship season. Jefferson was considered one of the most pro-ready wide receivers in this year’s class.
“I felt like I was the best receiver in this draft class, and being the fifth receiver off the board, it kind of was a shocker,” Jefferson said. “But also having that on my shoulder going into this next season with Minnesota, I’m definitely excited to show the world what I have.”