Mon, 12 Apr 2021

Lunchbreak: Jefferson Among ESPN's Top Non-QB MVP Candidates

Minnesota Vikings
22 Jan 2021, 20:37 GMT+10

Eric Smith

Justin Jefferson is not going to win the NFL's Most Valuable Player award after his rookie season.

But ESPN's Seth Walder still came away plenty impressed with the Vikings wide receiver's rookie season. Walder recently tabbed Jefferson as one of 10 non-quarterback NFL MVP candidates from the 2020 season.

Walder had Jefferson at No. 10 on his list, and the former LSU standout was the only rookie included among other big-name stars.

Walder wrote:

The closer I looked at Jefferson, the more I realized he had to make this list. He didn't just have a great season for a rookie; he had a great season for anyone.

Jefferson ranked second in CAYOE [completed air yards over expectation] (plus-218) behind only his predecessor in Minnesota, [Stefon] Diggs. And he also ranked second among wide receivers in YAC [yards after catch] over expectation (plus-176), behind only A.J. Brown.

Thus, we can say that Jefferson ranked first in receiving yards over expectation. However, note that baked into that expectation is Jefferson's separation. He had 2.6 yards on average, while all the other receivers on this list averaged at least 3.0.

Jefferson recorded 1,400 receiving yards, including 586 on vertical routes - more than any other player in the league. And he finished sixth in EPA, right behind [Davante] Adams.

Jefferson ended his rookie season with a rookie-best 88 receptions and also set a Super Bowl-era record with 1,400 receiving yards.

He also ranked second among all rookies with seven touchdown catches.

Jefferson was one of two rookies to be named to the 2021 Pro Bowl, along with Washington defensive end Chase Young.

The 21-year-old could also win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He is also one of five finalists for the 2020 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

You can vote for Jefferson here for the 2020 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

Applications open for annual Zimmer Foundation Scholarship

The Mike Zimmer Foundation has provided college scholarships to graduating high school seniors since 2016, awarding $10,000 to 10 different students for a total of $100,000.

Scholarship applications are now open for seniors graduating in 2021, with a deadline of April 15.

Eligible applicants must be graduating from a Minnesota high school in 2021, have played a varsity sport and have a 2.75 GPA or higher.

They must also be planning to attend an accredited college, university or community college, and they must have participated in an extracurricular activity or volunteered in the community.

Click here for the application.

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