The Minnesota Vikings could have another Adam Thielen in the making

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Unknown wide receiver Brandon Zylstra is hoping to make a good enough impression on the Minnesota Vikings this summer to make their roster.

The career path of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is one that has definitely been written about over and over again during the past year. But that’s because it’s actually pretty unique and interesting.

After not being invited to the national scouting combine in 2013, Thielen borrowed money from his dad so that he could showcase his skills at a regional combine. The native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota performed well enough to eventually sign as an undrafted free-agent with the Vikings later that year.

Since then, Thielen hasn’t looked back.

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Fast forward to 2018 and Minnesota could have another unknown, local receiver emerge this summer and earn himself a spot with the Vikings for next season.

Brandon Zylstra, who grew up in Spicer, Minnesota, is coming off a season with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos in which he caught 100 passes for 1,687 yards (16.4 per catch) and five touchdowns. His performance with the Eskimos in 2017 was impressive enough for the Vikings to sign the 6-foot-3, 220 pound receiver to a reserve/futures contract in January.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

Before he landed in the CFL, Zylstra played for both Augustana University in South Dakota (Division II) and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota (Division III).

To get an opportunity to play for the Vikings is something that Zylstra had only ever seen in his dreams before recently.

"“It’s super exciting. It’s definitely like a dream come true. (Playing for the Vikings is) something I’ve wished for since I was in kindergarten.”"

Since joining the Vikings, the 25-year-old receiver has been training in Minnesota with Thielen. The two have had a friendship since 2016 and they both also share the same agent.

With Thielen giving him a bit of guidance, will Zylstra follow in the Pro Bowl receiver’s footsteps and earn a spot on the Vikings’ 2018 roster?

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His first chance to catch passes in a purple Minnesota helmet is expected to happen at the team’s upcoming rookie mini-camp following this year’s draft. If Zylstra makes it through that then he will move on to the Vikings’ mandatory mini-camp in June with the Thielen and the rest of the team’s current roster.