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Inside Justin Jefferson's record-breaking, physics-defying rise with the Minnesota Vikings

HE RUNS DOWNFIELD as if traveling on grooves. He reaches full speed within two strides, his feet like stones skipping across a flat lake, his hips swerving in and out of cuts without betraying his intent. Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson is a storm that feels far away until it's suddenly overhead. Defenders must feel like they're trying to cover a cloud.

There's a word for the way Jefferson moves on a football field, and it's a word that isn't normally associated with a sport that revels in its brutality. But watch this man long enough -- the edge-of-a-cliff stops, the strides unchanging even as the ball nears, the head remaining on the same flat plane through his route -- and only one word spreads its arms wide enough to capture the nature of the experience: elegant.