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Justin Jefferson would’ve caught Stefon Diggs’ attention even if the Buffalo Bills receiver didn’t have a direct connection to how the Minnesota Vikings landed their star player in the first round of the 2020 draft.
“It’s hard not to pay attention," Diggs said. "When you’re one of the receivers in the league playing at a high level, you won’t be able to not see other guys playing at a high level.”
The ties between two of the NFL’s most productive receivers over the past three years go even deeper with the AFC-leading Bills (6-2) hosting the NFC North-leading Vikings (7-1) on Sunday.
By trading Diggs to Buffalo in March 2020, the Vikings acquired a first-round pick (No. 22), which they used to draft Jefferson in a deal that has panned out for both teams.
In Buffalo, the instant connection Diggs established with starter Josh Allen set the foundation of one of the league’s most potent offenses, which powered the Bills to winning two consecutive AFC East titles.
In Minnesota, the Vikings finally appear to have found a winning complementary mix on offense and defense under first-year coach Kevin O’Connell after missing the playoffs the past two years, and with Jefferson playing a key role. He’s again leading the Vikings in yards receiving with 867 to rank second in the NFL — 10 ahead of Diggs.
Jefferson has a mutual appreciation for Diggs.
“I just love the way he carries himself. ... He wants to be out there making plays for his team, and I can''t argue that,” Jefferson said. “I got to talk to him more after we (were) traded, and got to really know each other. I definitely love him as a person and respect his game, and only want the best for him.”