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Justin Jefferson continues to state his case for the greatest start for a wide receiver in NFL history. The fifth wideout taken in a deep 2020 draft class, Jefferson has been making his mark since his rookie season -- becoming one of the top players at his position in the process.

Jefferson's 1,400 receiving yards set the NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie wideout in the Super Bowl era, becoming the first wide receiver to earn All-Pro honors in his rookie season since Randy Moss in 1998. And he has found a way for his encore performance to be even better, ranking amongst the best wide receivers in his second season.

History is on the horizon for Jefferson, who is just 21 yards away from passing Odell Beckham Jr. for the most receiving yards for any player after two seasons. As Jefferson closes in on NFL history, this week's "By the Numbers" takes a look how he stacks up with the best pass catchers in the league after two seasons. 

Most receiving yards -- first two seasons (NFL history)

  1. Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) -- 2,755
  2. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 2,735
  3. Randy Moss (Vikings) -- 2,726
  4. Bill Groman (Oilers) -- 2,648
  5. Jerry Rice (49ers) -- 2,497

Most receptions -- first two seasons (NFL history)

  1. Michael Thomas (Saints) -- 196
  2. Jarvis Landry (Dolphins) -- 194
  3. Christian McCaffrey (Panthers) -- 187
  4. Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) -- 187
  5. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 177

Most receiving yards per game -- first two seasons (NFL history)

  1. Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) -- 102.0
  2. Charley Hennigan (Oilers) -- 98.7
  3. Bill Groman (Oilers) -- 94.6
  4. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 91.2
  5. Randy Moss (Vikings) -- 85.2

Jefferson is stating his case to become the best wide receiver in NFL history after his first two seasons. The Vikings wideout still has three games to surpass Beckham for most receiving yards and Thomas for most catches through two years, needing just 21 yards to pass Beckham and 20 catches to eclipse Thomas. 

Jefferson needed just 24 games to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for his career, the second fastest to reach that milestone in league history (Odell Beckham reached in in 21 games). His 2,735 receiving yards prior to age 23 are the most in NFL history, surpassing Randy Moss's mark of 2,726. (Jefferson doesn't even turn 23 until June 16 of next year.) Jefferson's 12-career 100-yard games are the third most for a player in NFL history after two seasons, only trailing Groman (16) and Beckham (15).

A game changer since entering the league, Jefferson is just the third player to have 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a game in each of his first two seasons (joining Earnest Gray and Louis Lipps). He is just the 12th player to have 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons. 

Jefferson had one of the best rookie seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history. His sophomore season has been even better: 

Receiving yards leaders -- 2021 season 

  1. Cooper Kupp (Rams) -- 1,625
  2. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 1,335
  3. Davante Adams (Packers) -- 1,248
  4. Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) -- 1,178
  5. Chris Godwin (Buccaneers) -- 1,103

Receptions leaders -- 2021 season

  1. Cooper Kupp (Rams) -- 122
  2. Tyreek Hill  (Chiefs) -- 102
  3. Chris Godwin (Buccaneers) -- 98
  4. Davante Adams (Packers) -- 96
  5. Keenan Allen (Chargers) -- 92
  6. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 89
  7. Hunter Renfrow (Raiders) -- 89

Receiving touchdowns leaders -- 2021 season

  1. Cooper Kupp (Rams) -- 14
  2. Mike Evans (Buccaneers) -- 11
  3. Ja'Marr Chase (Bengals) -- 10
  4. Adam Thielen (Vikings) -- 10
  5. Justin Jefferson (Vikings) -- 9
  6. Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) -- 9
  7. Hunter Henry (Patriots) -- 9

Kupp is set to become the first receiver to win the triple crown since Steve Smith (2005), overshadowing how good Jefferson has been this season. Jefferson is 15 yards away from becoming the first receiver to have 1,400 yards in his first two seasons and is just the sixth player to eclipse 80 catches in each of his first two years. 

Jefferson's 2,735 receiving yards are the most for any NFL player over the last two seasons and his 12 100-yard receiving games trail only Davante Adams for the most in the NFL (13). He has five 100-yard games this season, tied for the third most in the NFL behind only Kupp and Adams. Jefferson has eight games with a receiving touchdown, trailing only Kupp (nine) for the league lead. Jefferson is one of just 11 wide receivers with 10 games catching at least five passes this year. 

Jefferson is certainly in the conversation for being a top-five receiver in the game, and the Vikings are in the final playoff spot thanks to a game changer like him.