Former Maryland star Stefon Diggs was the 20th wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, selected in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings.
Now that the regular season has concluded and Diggs and the Vikings are headed to the playoffs, it’s worth looking back at the stats the former Terrapin posted during his rookie season -- which make him look like the steal of the draft.
Here are Diggs’ statistics, including in parenthesis where he ranks among NFL rookies in that category, along with the players who finished ahead of him:
720 receiving yards (2nd) -- 1. A. Cooper (OAK)
55.4 receiving yards/game (2nd) -- 1. A. Cooper (OAK)
13 receptions of 20+ yards (2nd) -- 1. A. Cooper (OAK)
4 receiving TDs (T4th) -- 1. A. Cooper (OAK) 1. T. Lockett (SEA) 3. D. Funchess (CAR)
52 receptions (4th) -- 1. A. Cooper (OAK) 2. D. Johnson (CLE) 3. J. Crowder (WSH)
Take a look at those numbers above. With Oakland's Amari Cooper standing alone at the top, there is a case to be made that Diggs was the second-best receiver in the 2015 draft class and he dropped all the way to the fifth round.
So what is behind it?
After being a healthy scratch in the first three games of the season, injuries presented an opportunity for Diggs and he seized it. He seemed to build strong chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater and became a favorite target of the second-year Minnesota quarterback.
For a time, it appeared that a Vikings-Redskins first-round playoff matchup could be in the cards, giving Diggs an opportunity to return to the state of Maryland. Instead, Minnesota’s victory over Green Bay on Sunday night means the Vikings will face Seattle in Round 1.