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Stefon Diggs Is Chasing History

What the rookie WR is doing has never been done in a Vikings uniform, and rarely been done in the NFL. Ever.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Stefon Diggs' rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings has been flat out remarkable, and that continued Sunday in Chicago. Diggs ended the game with 6 catches for 95 yards, and the game tying touchdown late in the game. In the four of the seven games he's been active, his game by game breakdown is as follows:

Opponent

Catches

Yards

Avg

Longest

TD

At Den

6

87

14.5

25

0

KC

7

129

18.4

31

0

At Det

6

108

18

36

1

At Chi

6

95

14.8

40

1

Totals

25

419

16.8

40

2

That's pretty impressive, no doubt. But to put it into a little more perspective, consider this--In the 2015 NFL Draft, there were 6 wide receivers taken in the first round. They are:

Team

Player

School

Overall Pick

Oakland

Amari Cooper

Alabama

4

Chicago

Kevin White

West Virginia

7

Miami

DeVante Parker

Louisville

14

Philadelphia

Nelson Agholer

Southern Cal

20

Baltimore

Breshad Perriman

UCF

26

Indianapolis

Phillip Dorsett

Miami

29

That was the most wide receivers taken in the first round since 2009. Coming off the success the 2013 WR draft class had, led by Sammy Watkins and Odell Beckham, Jr., there were high expectations for this group. But the results have been very disappointing, save for Cooper. How bad is it? Overall, their stats are as follows:

Player

Catches

Yards

Avg

Longest

TD

Cooper

38

565

14.9

68

3

White

0

0

0

0

0

Parker

4

49

12.3

19

0

Agholer

8

105

13.1

45

0

Perriman

0

0

0

0

0

Dorsett

11

167

15.2

35

1

Totals

61

886

14.5

68

4

Totals minus Cooper

23

321

14.0

45

1

So of the six guys taken in round one, Diggs, in only playing four of a possible seven games, has more yards receiving than five of the receivers...combined. He has almost 100 more yards receiving than five of the six guys...combined. Amari Cooper has been fantastic for the Raiders so far, but if you average out what Diggs has done into a full seven games, he comes out with 44 receptions, 733 yards, and four scores, numbers which would be ahead of Cooper, too. And Diggs is also chasing history, both from a league and team perspective. Consider this information:

There are three rookie WR's that have had standout years for the Vikings that pop into my head--Percy Harvin in 2009, Randy Moss in 1998, and Sammy White in 1976. All three won Rookie Of The Year honors, and all were dynamic players. Harvin might be a guy you would think had a fast start with Zombie Brett Favre and all, but you would be wrong. The 2009 NFC Offensive Rookie Of The Year only had a high game of 51 yards receiving in his four games, although he did have two touchdowns. Surprisingly, Harvin only had one 100 yard receiving game that year, and that didn't come until week 11, when he had 101 yards receiving against the Bears in a 36-10 win.

So let's get to the Moss comparison, because that's what everyone wants to see. Diggs is actually ahead of Moss' first four games in 1998. That year, Moss blew up the NFL with 69 catches, 1313 yards, 17 TD, and a yards per catch average of 19.0 yards. His first game was a highlight reel game, with 95 yards and 2 TD's against Tampa Bay, including a ridiculous 48 yard WHOOP WHOOP juggling effort. But after that, Moss was kind of quiet over his next three games. Let's take a look:

Opponent

Catches

Yards

Avg

TD

Tampa Bay

4

95

23.8

2

At St. Louis

6

89

14.8

0

Detroit

5

37

7.4

1

At Chicago

2

52

26

1

Total

17

273

16.1

4

After his week one debut, he had a good game against the Rams, but fairly pedestrian numbers for the other two games. It was week five that Moss had his 190 yard, 2 touchdown coming out party on Monday Night Football against Green Bay in Lambeau, and on the season he ended up with four 100 yard receiving games.

How about Sammy White? White, who was the NFL Rookie Of The Year in 1976, had an impressive start with the Vikings. He had 71 and 139 yards receiving in his first two games, but only 24 over the next two, including a forgettable 1 catch 1 yard effort in a week three win at Detroit. He finished the year with 51 catches for 906 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He had three 100 yard receiving games that year, and one of those games was a 7 catch, 210 yard day, also against the Lions. Of the four receivers, White is the only one to have a 200 yard receiving game in his rookie campaign.

What Stefon Diggs is doing right now is something that, quite literally, no rookie wide receiver has ever done in a Minnesota Vikings uniform to begin a career, and something very few have ever done in the NFL. Ever.

Here's to hoping he keeps it up.