Two Arizona Cardinals defensive backs blanketed Justin Jefferson as he ran down the field in a joint practice Wednesday. Kirk Cousins threw a pass into that traffic jam and, predictably, Jefferson contorted his body and came down with a catch as the players collided.

He made it look routine. This is what he does now, make difficult catches look effortless.

The team's social media account posted a video over the weekend of Jefferson snatching a pass with one hand while twisting. It happened during early warmups of their preseason game against Tennessee, with Jefferson dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.

He turned, stuck his right hand above his head and the ball was suddenly in his grasp, like a ping-pong ball being caught by high-powered suction.

It almost looked fake. Like, how?

"Working on your ball skills every single day," Jefferson said Wednesday. "Taking that little bit of time to help hand-eye coordination definitely goes a long way."

"Great hands" is one of the highest compliments given to a wide receiver. That label clearly applies to Jefferson, still just 24.

Larry Fitzgerald Jr. was one of the best in NFL history in this area. The Hall of Fame should include a replica of his hands along with his bust when he's inducted on the first ballot. In his 17-year career, Fitzgerald dropped a pass about as often as Halley's Comet comes into view.

So, Larry, what goes into having great hands?

"It's a skill that's developed over time," he told me Wednesday. "Just repetition. I always had a really good skillset on catching it, but it's something I always worked tirelessly to improve."

Fitzgerald and former Gophers and NFL receiver Eric Decker, another member of the great hands club, cited different factors that determine a receiver's hands index.

Though not a deal-breaker, having large hands can help. There's a reason NFL evaluators measure hand size at the combine.

Decker's hands barely reached 9 inches when measured at the combine. He said his former teammate with the Denver Broncos, the late Demaryius Thomas, had gigantic hands.

"He would swallow my hands because he had mitts," Decker said.

Said Fitzgerald: "DeAndre Hopkins has the biggest hands I've ever seen. His hands are massive."

Hand strength is more important than size. Jefferson noted last season that he followed Hall of Famer Cris Carter's advice to focus on improving his finger strength in the offseason.

Fitzgerald used to stick his hands in a bucket of rice and do different movements to strengthen his fingers and forearms.

"When you catch it, guys always try to [chop] down on your hands," Fitzgerald said. "Or they will hit you in the back to jolt you. Strong to the catch is one thing, but then guys are trying to knock the ball out, so you have to catch it strong and get it to the tuck."

Decker relied on his baseball background to help him develop his hands. In the offseason, the Rocori High grad used tennis balls to work on his reaction. He'd face a wall and have a partner standing behind him bounce a tennis ball off the wall in different spots. Decker had to catch it.

"It made you focus on the ball and be super intentional about watching all the way into your hands," Decker said. Receivers refer to that as "tracking" the ball. Guys with great hands typically track the ball with their eyes to their hands.

"They have a saying in baseball: You can't hit what you can't see," Decker said. "You can't catch what you can't see also."

He said Jefferson and Fitzgerald are two of the best he's seen at tracking.

"It's easy when a ball is thrown to your chest or in front of your face," Decker said. "Once that ball gets above your head and you've got to track it or if you're running down the sideline and it's over the shoulder, it's hard for a lot of guys to track the ball. A lot of guys, their eyes stay put. They just put their hands somewhere. If you watch Jefferson — and [Adam] Thielen is really good at this — you can see in slow motion, their eyes are tracking all the way to their hands."

There is no better example than Jefferson's one-handed grab at Buffalo last season. His miracle catch serves as the Mona Lisa of tracking, great hands and receiving as an art form. It was his masterpiece ... so far.