The unforeseen discovery of Adam Thielen
The Vikings made two colossal flubs in the draft selections of wide receivers in the last 15 years. In 2005, it was Troy Williamson and a decade later, it was Laquon Treadwell. Both men were seemingly good dudes, but Minnesota profoundly struck out on both first-round picks.
The Vikings then made up for it with the late-round draft pick of Stefon Diggs and no-round draft pick of Adam Thielen.
Thielen’s story and on-the-field performance for Minnesota has been movie script-like. It will not be rehashed here because it’s common knowledge among the team’s fan base.
Yet, the mere fact that the Vikings front office spent virtually nothing on Thielen’s discovery is franchise-altering. And that’s notwithstanding the sentimental tugs at one’s heart of Thielen’s Minnesota-based aura.
The Minnesota State University alumnus was anointed as a full-time starter in 2016. From that point on, he has accounted for the 12th-most receiving yards in the NFL. And we’re talking better than Odell Beckham, Stefon Diggs, Amari Cooper, and Keenan Allen in this parameter. Had Thielen been the first overall pick in any NFL draft, this would still be impressive.
It’s even more commendable for the undrafted billing that he is well-known for. Eight years into the gig for Rick Spielman, Thielen is his magnum opus achievement.