Cam Dantzler and Justin Jefferson Blowing Up Expectations Early at Vikings Camp

Photo: Minnesota Vikings

It only took a few of days with media at Minnesota Vikings Training Camp (plus one televised practice), for all of the preseason chatter to start flowing in from TCO Performance Center in Eagan, just like we remember. The sense of normalcy it brought was breathtaking and early reports (plus the Twitter highlight videos) are already rolling in! Rookies, Justin Jefferson and Cam Dantzler are atop the list of talking points… and you can see why here.

It’s not just one or two highlight clips.

Cam and Justin are putting everyone on notice. Over the first day or two, it was Jefferson who was pulling in highlight reel catches and wowing social media crowds. Today with the pads on, it was Dantzler who pulled the highlight reel tip on an Adam Thielen, drawing praise from EVERYONE.

Sure, sure… these are just highlight videos. Of course, Adam Thielen may have beaten Dantzler 13 times before that highlight footage was captured… but that wasn’t the tune Thielen was singing, when he later talked to Mike Zimmer with an update on “#27”.

Remember, these quotes and tweets are in reference to two rookies who haven’t been able to do anything with the team in-person, up until the last two weeks. Maybe they will come back down to earth… or maybe they won’t. Either way, Zimmer and Co. have to be happy about the fast starts for two of his newest (and cheapest) entities. Both guys, he hopes to rely on for big minutes and starting reps.

Cam Dantzler Reaction

Justin Jefferson Reaction

“But [he’s a] very good route runner,” Kubiak added. “I guess I should say he’s really, when you sit there and talk routes and stuff, this kid’s very knowledgeable. He’s been coached by some good coaches before he got here,” Kubiak added. “So, he’s working. He’s got some great examples around him. So, very encouraged by his work, a long way to go. But very encouraged by his work.”

Gary Kubiak on Justin Jefferson

“He’s a super-good guy off the field. That’s where I’m going to start with it. I really like the kid off the field. On the field, I was telling him [Sunday] his releases were crazy. He was working everybody off the line. We knew coming in this guy was going to be a star, and he’s proven just that.”

Bisi Johnson on Justin Jefferson

This is where I hit you with a standard disclaimer, “Of course it’s early in training camp and we can’t take it too seriously. Stay patient…”, but fuck that.

Welcome to “Overreaction Action” – Hosted by Eric Strack

These quotes and evaluations aren’t coming from agents or a few “smart” people on Twitter. Adam Thielen has seen a lot of cornerbacks (and schooled a lot of cornerbacks). If he thinks Cam Dantzler is going to be a stud after just one padded practice… I am here for that and refuse to apologize.

With Justin Jefferson on the other hand, you don’t even need the quotes from his coaches and fellow wide receivers (though I included them anyway). Are you watching these highlight videos? I’m not a “football guy”, but neither is my 9-year-old daughter. She would watch some of those catches and tell me, “that #18 looks really good…”.

Then, I’d tell her, “That’s the guy who is going to make Twitter forget all about #14, honey.”

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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