clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stefon Diggs is torching NFL defenses and making the Ravens (and 30 other teams) look dumb for not drafting him

This is what happens when a five-star talent is used poorly and undervalued by an entire industry.

Stefon Diggs celebrates a game-tying touchdown against Chicago on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs celebrates a game-tying touchdown against Chicago on Sunday.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Stefon Diggs is a star.

The list of rookie NFL receivers better than him reads "Amari Cooper," and that's it. Except Diggs was a fifth-round pick, while Cooper went No. 4 overall. Cooper is making a standard rookie salary this year much like Diggs, but he already got $14.7 million at signing and has another $7 million or so guaranteed. Diggs is making peanuts and, as a fifth-rounder, has roughly the same guarantees for playing in the NFL as you or I do.

This is a long way of saying that Stefon Diggs is the most valuable rookie wideout in a salary-capped NFL. He looks like a future many-times-over Pro Bowler, and he's making beautiful music with second-year Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. (In a sense, this is a depressing reminder of what Diggs could have been at Maryland with a good passer delivering him the ball.)

He's been doing his thing this week, too. Look at what he does to this poor Bears defensive back:

His touchdown came replete with plenty of badassery:

Just how good has Diggs been? Check the numbers, which don't yet account for his day on Sunday. Because this is a Maryland blog and yards-per-game is a decent cursory indicator of overall production, that's how we'll sort this table of the top 15 rookie receivers in the NFL so far, via the league's website.

Player Pick No. Team Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+
Stefon Diggs 146 MIN 19 324 17.1 108 36T 1 8
Amari Cooper 4 OAK 33 519 15.7 86.5 68T 3 8
Jamison Crowder 105 WAS 32 292 9.1 41.7 26 0 2
Tyler Lockett 69 SEA 17 217 12.8 31 43T 1 3
Phillip Dorsett 29 IND 11 167 15.2 23.9 35T 1 3
Ty Montgomery 94 GB 15 136 9.1 22.7 31T 2 1
Nelson Agholor 20 PHI 8 105 13.1 21 45 0 1
Chris Conley 76 KC 14 160 11.4 20 44 1 2
Jaelen Strong 70 HOU 3 58 19.3 19.3 42T 2 1
Cameron Meredith UN CHI 8 95 11.9 19 22 0 2
Keith Mumphery 175 HOU 13 126 9.7 18 26 0 1
Dorial Green-Beckham 40 TEN 6 92 15.3 15.3 32 2 1
Devin Smith 37 NYJ 6 60 10 15 16 0 0
Devin Funchess 41 CAR 6 82 13.7 13.7 20 0 1
DeVante Parker 14 MIA 4 49 12.3 7 19 0 0

That's Diggs, averaging more yards per game than literally anybody. Minnesota didn't even make him active for the first few games of the season, and Diggs still has more raw receiving yards than anyone but Cooper. He's also been a prodigious route-runner:

Diggs is one of the best young receivers in football. It's a crime against the sport that Maryland didn't ever find Diggs an efficient passing quarterback, because this is what it looks like when he has one. Maryland never got a 1,000-yard season out of Diggs, and that's tragic because Diggs is about to have a 1,000-yard season as a fifth-round rookie in the NFC North. He's that good, and he somehow didn't get the chance to show it fully in College Park.

Oh, and this: Diggs would have the second-most receiving yards on the Baltimore Ravens, and he'd be in line to pretty quickly take that team's lead given the unfortunate injury Steve Smith suffered on Sunday. The Ravens drafted receiver Brashad Perriman 120 picks before the Vikings took Diggs. Wonder how that's going?

Then again, maybe it's not right to single out one team for not picking Diggs, because 30 others wish they had, too.