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Justin Jefferson Says Vikings Aren't a 'Run-First Offense' Anymore

Jefferson is excited for the Vikings to throw the ball more under Kevin O'Connell.
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No player has more receiving yards than Justin Jefferson's 3,016 since the Vikings' young superstar entered the league in 2020. Making that number more impressive is the fact that Jefferson ranks seventh in targets over that span with 292, 38 behind league-leader Stefon Diggs.

If he stays healthy, Jefferson might see even more volume in 2022 and beyond. With Kevin O'Connell replacing Mike Zimmer as the Vikings' head coach, it's possible Minnesota will become a slightly more pass-heavy team. Last year, O'Connell was the offensive coordinator for a Rams team that funneled a league-high 191 targets to WR1 Cooper Kupp, despite defenses knowing Kupp was the guy they had to stop.

"Our offensive style, it's not a run-first offense anymore," Jefferson told NFL Network's Patrick Clayborn. "Just us being able to put different people in different positions and distribute the ball, really, I'm so excited (to be) in this offense."

Over the past three seasons, the Vikings have ranked 18th, 27th, and 29th in passing percentage. It'll be interesting to see if that number climbs under O'Connell, whose Rams ranked 14th in 2021. The running game with Dalvin Cook will still be a huge part of the Vikings' offense, but I'd imagine we'll see fewer runs on second and long, for example.

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Jefferson is also expected to be used in slightly different ways in this offense, which could lead to an increase in targets.

As for what he wants to accomplish going forward after such a strong start to his career, Jefferson told Clayborn he has his sights set on Canton.

"I mean, I want to accomplish so much," Jefferson said. "It's an endless list that I want to accomplish. At the end of the day, I want to be a Hall of Famer. So, in order to reach that, that position is so much more that I have to accomplish, so much more that I have to set for myself to better myself and really to learn. I just can't wait to really just see how far I can really go. This is just the start of my career, and there's just so much more I have to learn, so much more I have to do for myself to really get on that platform of being a Hall of Famer."

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