During training camp, Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace compared rookie Stefon Diggs to arguably the league's best receiver, Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. Wallace would be one to know, being that he and Brown were teammates with the Steelers before Wallace moved on to Minnesota.
Diggs went on to have an electric preseason, mostly on special teams, but was listed as inactive through the first three weeks of the season. After fellow receiver Charles Johnson went down with an injury this past week, Diggs got his chance and he made the most of it.
In a loss to Denver on Sunday, Diggs led the team with 87 yards receiving on six catches and in a postgame interview, Wallace stood by him earlier remarks.
“When I first got here, he reminded me of Antonio,’’ Wallace told the Pioneer-Press. “I still stand by that, how quick he is and his motor and the routes he runs and just the way he prepares himself, man. He’s got so much energy and I love that. He can’t sit down. He’s always going full speed.
“He could be better than me,’’ he went on to say. “He’s young. When I came in (with Pittsburgh in 2009), I was playing well as a young guy, but I had one assignment: Beat them deep. Diggs is already running the full route treatment from Day 1.’’
It had actually been Diggs' ability as a receiver that were most critiqued during the preseason.
There had been no doubt that he could be a contributor as a returner, but with Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels -- two of the league's best returners -- ahead of him on the depth chart, it appeared it may take some time for him to get a shot.
But after Sunday's performance, some are calling for Diggs to have an even larger role. From Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk:
Meanwhile, Patterson (who unexpectedly got the start on Sunday) had one catch for nine yards. Which means that Patterson will soon be heading full speed for the exit, while Diggs and Johnson become the guys around which the passing game is built.