Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson picked up another honor Friday for his trophy case.
Jefferson, who had a record-setting season, was named second-team all-pro by the Associated Press. He was the only Minnesota player to make the first or second team.
Jefferson caught 88 passes for 1,400 yards, the second most in NFL history following the 1,473 Houston’s Bill Groman had in 1960. He broke Randy Moss’ 1998 team rookie record for receptions (69) and yards (1,313).
Jefferson broke Moss’ yardage record in last Sunday’s 37-35 win at Detroit in the season finale. He wore special cleats in the game that displayed his and Moss’ rookie statistics, and after the game said he wanted Moss “to sign them so I can put them in my trophy case.’’
Jefferson last month joined Moss and Sammy White in 1976 as the only Minnesota rookies to have been named to the Pro Bowl at receiver.
Jefferson finished fifth in voting among receivers on the AP team, and usually the top two vote-getters are on the first team and the next two on the second team. However, the AP made an adjustments this year following the voting by a national media panel of 50.
Three receiver spots were allocated to both the first and second teams rather than there being a flex selection on each team, and there was a three-way tie for the third spot on the second team. The first-team receivers were Green Bay’s Davante Adams (49 votes), former Vikings star Stefon Diggs (48) of Buffalo and Tyreek Hill (24) of Kansas City. That left second-team spots to Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins (21), Jefferson (5) and then three players who made it due to tying for the last spot: Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley (1), Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf (1) and Buffalo’s Cole Beasley (1).
Diggs, who led the NFL with 127 catches and 1,535 receiving yards, was traded by Minnesota last March to the Bills along with a seventh-round pick for four draft choices. One of the selections was the No. 22 pick in the first round, which the Vikings used to pick Jefferson.
“The moment I first saw him run routes and catch the football, I knew there was something special there,’’ Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said this week about Jefferson. “Did I think he was going to break every record and be one of the best receivers in the NFL this year? I don’t know. … But it’s been fun to watch. It’s been fun to be a part of.’’
Eric Kendricks, named first-team all-pro in 2019, was the only other Vikings player to get 2020 all-pro votes, receiving three to finish eighth among linebackers. Kendricks was hampered by missing the final five games due to calf injury.
Dalvin Cook, who was second in the NFL in rushing with 1,557 yards, did not get any votes due to to Tennessee’s Derrick Henry (47) and New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara (3) receiving them all at running back.
Paton interviews with Broncos
The Denver Broncos announced Friday that they had a virtual interview with Vikings vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager George Paton for their open general manager job.
Paton, who just completed his 14th Vikings season, had interviewed Wednesday for Detroit’s general manager position.
Stats dead even at end
The Vikings in 2020 had had the same number of yards of total offense as they gave up on defense: 6,292.
That was a good number from an offensive standpoint as the Vikings ranked No. 4 in the NFL in total offense, their highest finish since they were No. 4 in 2004. It was not so good on the other side of the ball as the Vikings ranked No. 27 in total defense.