Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Quotes 4/24/20
COURTESY OF MINNESOTA VIKINGS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
I would like to start out by thanking the Vikings organization for giving me the draft pick and putting their time into me. Definitely excited to join and compete with the different guys on the team. Let's compete for a Super Bowl.
Q. What was tonight like up to the moment you realized you were a Minnesota Viking?
A: I mean, words cannot describe the feeling that was racing through my heart. Just having my heart pounding, just as soon as I'm receiving the phone call and realizing that I'm finally becoming a professional athlete and playing for an NFL team. Definitely excited and ready to join the team.
Q. Did you have a sense coming into tonight that the Vikings would be interested in you?
A: You know, that's one part about the Draft that you never know exactly what pick you're going to go. A lot of teams can talk to you and say that you're number one on their board and just different things but you never know exactly where you're going to end up. I'm definitely glad I ended up in Minnesota.
Q. What do you think about kind of potentially replacing Stefon Diggs as a starter? This is the exact spot that the Vikings got when they traded Diggs.
A: I'm just excited to play for the organization and play alongside Kirk (Cousins) and Adam (Thielen) and all those other guys on the team. I’m excited to join the team and give it my all.
Q. What are some things that you think you can provide the Vikings that will elevate this offense?
A: Being a versatile receiver, just being able to be put wherever on the field and being able to make plays. Just really getting into space and making the first guy miss.
Q. Speaking of that versatility, you played a lot in the slot last year. Do you feel you can play in the outside in the NFL?
A: Yes, I've been playing outside all my life until last year. Last year was the first time I've been playing slot receiver. Yeah, definitely going into Minnesota and playing outside and inside when they need me.
Q. To start really playing slot last year and set the school record for catches in the same season, how did you transition that smoothly?
A: Coach Joe definitely came in and worked with us on different ball drills and eye coordination drills. Just doing those every single day and really focusing on our hands and our reaction time and all those different things to become a better receiver. It helped me tremendously throughout the season, and it changed, and you can tell it changed throughout my sophomore to junior season.
Q. When they were starting to get to the 20-range, what were you thinking, and were you thinking you might go to the Eagles at 21?
A: Just like I said, you never know. Just waiting for your turn to be called is definitely frustrating and nerve racking. Yeah, I'm definitely excited to be a Minnesota Viking. I couldn't wish for more.
Q. What about playing for LSU last year and about your skillset that makes you the most ready to go to the NFL right now and make an immediate impact?
A: Just being in that SEC play and just playing those tough guys week-in and week-out. So you know, being in the SEC definitely prepared me to be at this professional level and to be playing against these bigtime guys in the league. Definitely excited and looking forward to going into Minnesota and you know working my butt off to be that number one receiver.
Q. You got the last scholarship available in your class at LSU, unheralded guy coming out of high school. Could you have possibly believed then you would be wearing an NFL team's hat on your head talking to us about being drafted?
A: No, you know, then, I was very small, undersized, lightly recruited, the whole thing. Definitely didn't think that this would be coming and just being in this situation, not a lot of people can say that they have been drafted or even been in the first round. Definitely blessed to be in this situation.
Q. How important was it for you at the Combine to run that 4.43?
A: It was extremely important. That was one of the main concerns (from) the scouts and the different teams, if I was going to be that fast receiver. Going into training and focusing on my 40 time, my technique and different ways to increase my speed, so, yeah, definitely going into that and focusing on that 40 time and surprising the world by reaching that 4.43.
Q. I know you probably want to catch a ball for any NFL quarterback but what are your thoughts on Kirk cousins and have you had a chance to look at what he does that you really like and how you could be compatible with him?
A: I watched Kirk Cousins a lot, especially this past season. We watched a lot of film on them and watching Adam (Thielen) and Stefon Diggs share balls together. Yeah, Kirk is definitely a great quarterback and I'm definitely excited to see what we have in store.
Q. You're not able to just jump on the field and catch passes next week because of the situation right now. What are the next steps for you in terms of preparing to be a professional football player in these conditions?
A: Really just sticking to training hard and being mentally prepared for whatever happens. You know, not everybody knows exactly what is going to happen, how this whole thing is going to turn out. So yeah, just continuing to be prayered up and to make sure I don't get any injuries and I’m staying in shape, focused and ready.
Q. Aside from it being a great night for you, how good was it to see your teammates get drafted as well, tonight?
A: It felt great, especially to see Joe, Clyde and Caleb in the first round, Patrick, just all of us. It was exciting. We all came a long way. (Inaudible).
Q. Describe the atmosphere of you being drafted. Where did you watch the Draft, and who was watching the Draft with you and what was kind of the reaction when you got picked?
A: I was at my house. I'm at my house now. When I got called, I had all my family here. Just enjoying this moment with them. This is our first experience, especially in the first round. Definitely everybody is overjoyed and happy, crying, a lot of tears. Definitely ready.
Q. How many family members were there and what's the exact city your house is, just to be sure?
A: Six of us here. Yeah, we didn't have the full draft experience that we wanted but to share it with family is special.
Q. What's the name of the city you're in? A: St. Rose, Louisiana.