The season-ending NFL Awards are at least a month off, but it’s never too early to speculate about whether or not certain members of the Minnesota Vikings might be up for some hardware. Tom Pelissero of NFL dot com did just that, and one of the results should make Vikings fans pretty happy.
In a poll of 26 high-ranking executives from NFL teams, including 15 general managers, Pelissero got a look at who some of the favorites for the annual awards might be, and the name of Vikings’ star wide receiver Justin Jefferson topped the list for the Offensive Player of the Year Award.
Jefferson received 13.5 of the 26 votes available in that category, more than doubling the tally of Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (In this poll, Mahomes would have to console himself with another MVP trophy, which he won going away.) Today, Jefferson leads the NFL in receptions with 111 and receiving yardage with 1,623. He’s on pace to set a new single-season NFL receiving yardage record and, potentially, become the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history.
Here are some quotes from the executives polled about Jefferson:
“The f---ing guy is good, man,” an AFC executive said. “He knows how to create separation. He catches everything. I don’t know why we’re surprised — he was just like that at LSU. They had (Ja’Marr) Chase too, but he was the clutch guy.”
As one NFC executive said: “What Derrick Henry is to Tennessee — and this isn’t a slight at the Vikings’ other players — if you remove [Jefferson], it would probably have as big an impact as anyone from an offense as a non-quarterback.”
Jefferson also received half a vote in the MVP race, the only non-quarterback in the league to do so.
A couple of other members of the Vikings’ organization were on the list as well. Head coach Kevin O’Connell finished second in the coach of the year voting, though it was a pretty distant second to Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni (7.5 votes to 3.5). General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also tallied one vote in the Executive of the Year category.
It would be nice to see Justin Jefferson bring home the Offensive Player of the Year Award. Since the award usually goes to a non-quarterback, because the MVP Award at this point should just be called the Best Quarterback Award, Jefferson has as good a chance as anyone else, and if he continues on his record-setting pace he’s going to be almost impossible to ignore.