At 6-0 and just 195lbs Stefon Diggs doesn’t necessarily have the monstrous size or the special name, to be labeled as one of the “perfect WRs” in the NFL. But Minnesota took a calculated chance when they drafted Stefon Diggs in the 5th round, at 146th overall back in the 2015 NFL Draft. Diggs came out of Maryland, after his best season where he had shown his receiving skills and ability with 62 catches, 792 YDs, and 5 TDs. Doing this, with a low end QB, named C.J. Brown – who was bad…at best. But Diggs showed the scouts his magical feet, and great quickness. With explosive dynamic moves, and cutting tight breaks to turn DBs around when trying to guard him, Minnesota snatched him up.
By now, we have all witnessed the 61 YD TD pass that Diggs took to the house in the “Minnesota Miracle” when he broke free, leaped with storybook athleticism – snatched the pass and busted off to the endzone to win the Divisional game sending the Vikes into the NFC Championship game. Starting on the bench in Minnesota – when Mike Wallace was out, and Diggs finally hopped in, everything changed, in a hurry. When he made his debut way back vs. the Denver Broncos, he ended up with 87 yards on 6 catches, and looked absolutely awesome while doing it. As he torched legendary veteran CB Aqib Talib around the field, with double moves, and quick slants – putting the league on caution flag that he was far from a wasted pick.
Diggs ended his Vikings rookie year in 2015 – with 52 catches – even when Adrian Peterson was still the main feature, he gave the Vikes a WR to they could lean on to try and move the ball in the air with some semblance of consistency. Something they hadn’t had since Percy Harvin was giving them hope, or even Sidney Rice back in 2009. As he has been nothing short of dynamic and natural when he gets the ball in his hands, as his numbers attest to. Having had Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Case Keenum throwing the ball to him over the last several seasons, he has had to make his share amount of adjustments to ball placement, and has still succeeded with his football ability to make oncoming defenders miss.
From the slot he has been excellent, and he has transformed his game to also be a lethal threat on the outside – not unlike an Antonio Brown type ability. Diggs was just 31st in the league in receptions with 64 – which was tied with former 1st rd draft pick Nelson Agholor, yet was also only 1 catch less than dynamic WR Brandin Cooks – not too shabby of company if you ask me, for a guy that is just starting to come into his own. This is based on the fact that he has shown a skill to beat quality DBs on every single play. Diggs and his star WR counterpart, Adam Thielen have been a devastating duo for the Vikes – they both have shown incredibly good body control and fantastic hands – as they don’t rely on trapping the football against their bodies, they are genuine and legit ball snatching receivers.
With 42 1st down catches, he was excellent with turning quick short yard throws into keeping drives alive for Keenum when he was throwing the ball to him. He makes things happen when he has the ball in his hands and has been a huge enhancement and extremely productive weapon for the Vikings because of that. He makes deadly cuts so smoothly and easily, without losing any speed. And he also has shown off the ability to run full route tree and runs them all very well. He leaves DB’s in confused steps – constantly working himself into wide open spaces, very easily. With his excellent hands to go along with his great body control – Diggs is a guy to watch for.
Diggs had torn up Washington and New Orleans during the 2017 season, against 2 of the better quality secondary’s. And really made Tampa Bay pay the price, with just 3 yard slants, and then taking it to the deep levels, showing great ability in his vertical skills. He has an incredible ability to break open, and find ways to get open at all 3 levels of the defense. With 21 games of 5 or more receptions in 40 games played, it is easy to surmise he will make something happen on the field each and every week.
He worked his way to being the team’s WR1, and an honest star in the league. When we look back at the 2015 draft, DeVante Parker, Chris Conley, and Dorial Green-Beckham were all drafted over him. Diggs waited for his shot, and has taken full on advantage of that, with 212 receptions and 18 TDs. Numbers that Conley or Parker have not seen yet in their young budding careers. This season he has accumulated 12 catches for a 14.3 YPC, 171 YDs, and 3 TDs in just 2 games. With a proven top notch QB like Kirk Cousins slinging the ball, his ladder of success is only going to get that much better.
Maybe he can be the next Antonio Brown or Steve Smith, or maybe he will be the 1st Stefon Diggs. Either way, Diggs is a really special player, and Minnesota fans certainly want to see him representing the purple and gold for many great seasons to come. Grab your NFL winners at VegasTopDogs each week.