Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs appeared to be heading for stardom after his first four NFL games.
The 6-foot rookie caught 25 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns in his first four games, including a leaping touchdown at Detroit. His performance helped catalyze a five-game winning streak that gave the Vikings a 7-2 record and the NFC North division lead.
Diggs' final four games of 2015, however, were nowhere near as productive. He caught just 11 passes for 108 yards during the stretch, which included the Vikings' 10-9 loss to Seattle in the wild-card game.
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Diggs, a fifth-round draft pick, finished the year with 52 receptions on 84 targets for 720 yards and four touchdowns. He led the team in all the afformentioned categories, except touchdowns.
Diggs also compared to his fellow rookie wide receivers, ranking second to only Amari Cooper in receiving yards:
|Dorial Green Beckham||32||549||17.2||4|
This year's top rookie wide receivers did not produce the gaudy statistics of the 2014 class. Diggs would not have ranked among the top seven rookies in receptions if he had been in the league in 2014.
Most of the 2014 rooke wide receivers followed up with strong 2015 seasons. How will the 2015 class fare as sophomores? Lockett appears to be trending toward a strong 2016 season, after catching five of his six touchdowns during the second half of the regular season. Cooper, the fourth overall pick in 2015, was up and down, catching six passes for 120 yards in week 15 but four passes for 30 yards in the final two weeks. Crowder and Green Beckham each posted 100-yard receiving games toward the end of the season.
And Diggs? He certainly appears to have the Vikings' trust, after supplanting Wallace, Johnson and Wright as Teddy Bridgewater's go-to wide receiver. But the Vikings appear likely to try and upgrade their wide receiving corps before next season, and that could mean fewer targets for Diggs.
Diggs appears more than capable of following up 2015 with an even better 2016 season. But his fate likely depends on how much the offense upgrades around him and how much Bridgewater improves as a passer.
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