Following the Minnesota Vikings’ win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Stefon Diggs called fellow receiver Jarius Wright, “Mr. Third Down.” Wright made a key third down catch during the Vikings’ go-ahead 15-play drive.
Wright only has 14 receptions this year, but his catches have come in big situations. He’s been targeted four times on third-and-short this season and come up with first downs each time. Overall, 11 of his 14 receptions have turned into first downs and he’s scored touchdowns on both catches inside the red zone.
The last two years haven’t been ideal for Wright as his role diminished from a top target in 2014 with 42 catches to having almost no role at all last year. He quipped during training camp that people who suggested he might lose his job “don’t know football.”
He was right, it seems. Wright has become part of a rotating group at the No. 3 receiver spot with Michael Floyd and Laquon Treadwell.
Head coach Mike Zimmer talked at length Monday about Wright’s value to the team.
“Well, first thing about Jarius is, he’s a very good person that works his rear end off each and every week,” Zimmer said. “He’s got good speed, he’s got good quickness, catches the ball good. He’s a tough competitor.”
Speaking of catching the ball, over the past four seasons, Wright has caught 69.2% of passes in his direction.
“Whenever he gets the opportunity to go in, he knows all the receiver positions if he needs to be. He’s just a guy that loves to go out there and get a chance to play and when he does, he usually makes a play.”