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:
Los Vikings lo perdían con menos de 2 minutos pero el novato Stefan Diggs los salvó. pic.twitter.com/erJNMD6Bg3— NFL Latino (@NFLlatino) November 1, 2015
Stefon Diggs with at least 5 catches and 80 yards in all 4 of his career games. Has 5 receptions for 91 yards and a TD today.— Vikings PR (@VikingsPR) November 1, 2015
His touchdown came replete with plenty of badassery:
Stefon Diggs TD celebration consisted mostly of him scaring photographers on the sideline pic.twitter.com/XF5bdXbOmb— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) November 1, 2015
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.
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:
Rookie Stefon Diggs leads the entire NFL in yards per route run at 3.27. That's .26 higher than the next closest, Antonio Brown.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 28, 2015
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?