Our look at under-the-radar Vikings continues with a name that will be familiar to a lot of folks who follow football in the Twin Cities. He’s Adam Thielen, former receiver for Minnesota State Mankato. Thielen will feel right at home when the Vikings open camp at his old campus later this week. But how will he feel – and more importantly, look – on the practice field?
If he performs like he did during minicamp, Thielen will feel pretty good. And so will the Vikings. Thielen really impressed observers during OTAs and minicamp with his speed and overall receiver skills. The kid looks like a pretty polished product at this early stage in his pro career. And he has nice size too.
That’s all fine and good. But how realistic are Thielen’s chances of actually making the squad? I think he has a pretty decent shot. You look at the receiver depth chart right now and you realize there are some jobs to be won. Split-end is where the most gaping hole is to be found. Behind Jerome Simpson, the Vikes really don’t have a true split-end. Cordarrelle Patterson looks the part physically but there are concerns about his readiness to take on a big role in the offense.
That’s where a guy like Thielen could come in. Just look at the other contenders for that fifth receiver spot. Stephen Burton: not a split-end. Greg Childs: coming off injury and may not be ready for camp. Chris Summers: big but very young and raw. Joe Webb: way behind these other guys in learning the nuances of receiver.
When you run down the guys competing for that spot you realize what a great shot Thielen has. We know he has the speed. He has the size. He appears to have a nose for the ball. Don’t be surprised if Thielen is in the thick of the race right up to the end. There’s a roster spot to be won and Thielen has as good a shot as any of the other guys competing.