Folks in Minnesota know all about Adam Thielen and his gritty, gutty battle to make the Vikings’ 53-man roster, but now Thielen’s quest is also getting recognition from outside Viking Nation.
Pro Football Focus, the online football grading/stat analysis site so admired by Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner, named its Team of the Preseason and tabbed Thielen as the top punt returner.
Thielen was handed the punt return duties in the opening preseason game when Marcus Sherels was unable to go, and looked solid if not necessarily explosive. Sherels was back there again in preseason game 2, but Thielen got another shot in game 3 and delivered a 75-yard return.
It bears noting that Thielen has also looked good in special teams coverage, and in his scattered duty as a wide receiver.
Thielen’s overall preseason performance has most observers convinced he is a near-lock for the 53-man roster. A lot of fans will definitely be disappointed if Thielen is left off the list when the Vikings pick the 53 men who will start the season with the team.
I don’t think Thielen has anything to worry about, but nothing is certain until those final cuts are made. In the meantime, it’s nice to see Thielen getting a little dap from PFF. Even if Zimmer and Turner think you should take such evaluations with a grain of salt.