Earlier this offseason, veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson signed with the Minnesota Vikings, ending his decade long stint with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal gave him an opportunity to meet breakout wide receiver Justin Jefferson and see up close what the youngster brings to the table.
Jefferson thrived in his first NFL season last fall, racking up 88 catches, 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns with the Vikings. He made the Pro Bowl and received serious Rookie of the Year consideration, setting himself up nicely for a long and productive career in the league.
For the last few weeks, Peterson has had the opportunity to see Jefferson in person and has gone up against him in practice. Almost immediately, he noticed that the 22-year-old showed an incredible maturity and a love for putting in the work to get better.
“[Jefferson’s] one of those guys who comes into work he’s a pro every efficient in practice just a guy who seems like he’s been in the league for four or five years that’s very rare you can look at a second-year player like he’s been here before, ” Peterson said of the Vikings wide receiver on his podcast, via Heavy.com. “That’s a credit to his family, the way he goes about his business and what he wants his career to be. You can tell he wants to be special and he loves coming to work every day.”
Peterson and Jefferson have a natural connection after both playing their college football at LSU. The veteran cornerback was there nearly a decade ahead of the 22-year-old wide receiver, but can still bond with him after spending time with the Tigers.
Peterson, 30, is entering into a different phase of his career with the Vikings and seems to be past his prime at this point. However, he can still be a reliable contributor and be a major part of Jefferson's development for as long as he's in Minnesota.