The time has come to recognize Stefon Diggs as one of the league's very best

Jan 13, 2021 at 9:54 pm ET

Stefon DiggsStefon Diggs: 2020 Season Stats: 127 rec, 1,535 yds, 12.1 ypc, 8 TD

Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins. Heading into the 2020 season these were some of the names you would hear whenever the topic of top WRs in the NFL came up. Several other names such as Chris Godwin, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper etc. would be mentioned well before you would hear a peep about this year's WR3 overall in fantasy football. While all these players listed deserved to be mentioned among the elite in today's game, one player in particular was overlooked in fantasy circles everywhere this past summer repeatedly. I too glossed over a player who even before this season could have been viewed as one of the most talented players at the position. The time to recognize this player as one of the elites has come, no ifs, ands, or buts. Stefon Diggs, the league's reception and receiving yards champ, is without question one of if not the best WR this league has to offer.

Back in 2015 I remember reading an article about a 6'0 WR from Maryland who at the time I admittedly knew very little about. The article proclaimed Diggs as possibly the biggest steal in the NFL draft that year. This is something we hear all the time during the draft process. Could be a steal! Could be a sleeper! Watch out for this player he could be the next big thing. These are statements we hear annually and more times than not it does not amount to much. This time though, was different. This player IS different. Stefon Diggs, 146th overall pick (5th round) is special. After reading that article I felt intrigued enough to do some researching and film study of my own. When I am watching film on players, I am constantly looking for traits that can translate to success. Sometimes you can look and there is not anything that pops out. So, why was there noise about a player who failed to record 800 yards in his final season at Maryland and never eclipsed 850 yards in any of his seasons in college? Why was I even wasting my time watching film on a player who had such pedestrian numbers at a level of play that is often dominated by the top prospects? The answer to that was simple. Diggs is rare. The way he moved on the field was just different. The elite level of route running I saw was not normal. This player was at the time and still to this day in my opinion the very best route runner I can ever remember seeing. Yes, I am sure to hear pushback from this proclamation, but this is something I firmly believe. Back then and even more so now, Diggs is continually creating incredible separation from even the best defenders in the league. He is smooth in and out of his breaks and can make cuts all over the field without breaking stride. His ability to go up and grab a ball over defenders is fun to watch. With game breaking speed he is in every sense of the word, elite. He is a complete WR who while in Minnesota never really put up the type of numbers you would expect from an elite WR. Often referred to as the #2 WR on the Vikings, Diggs was traded in March of 2020 to the Buffalo Bills in what would prove to be a career defining moment.

As his situation with the Minnesota Vikings started to fall apart, it was uncertain what would be next for the star WR. The Bills needed a big playmaker for QB Josh Allen and the offense. After a tough OT loss to the Texans in the first round of the playoffs a year ago, Buffalo knew it was time to make a move to take their team to the next level. There was debate as to whether the Bills traded away too many picks to secure their #1 target in the offense. Those debates have ultimately been muted. Fast-forward one year later and the Bills are now considered one of the most explosive offensive teams in all of football. Stefon Diggs went 6-128-1 in his first playoff appearance in Buffalo and helped the Bills celebrate their first playoff victory since 1995. A player who has been overlooked far too many times now has the opportunity on the biggest stage to let everyone know who he is. His name is Stefon Diggs. An elite NFL WR and he is here to stay.

 

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