How does Minnesota Vikings wideout Adam Thielen stack-up against the NFL’s elite pass-catchers?
This week, the NFL Network unveiled its annual Top 100 list of player rankings. The rankings are noteworthy as they are released when team training camps are commencing and because the rankings are adjudicated by NFL players. The rankings tend to feel more legitimate with fellow players casting judgment, so to speak.
Five Minnesota Vikings made the cut: Eric Kendricks (83rd), Harrison Smith (64th), Kirk Cousins (58th), Danielle Hunter (40th), and Dalvin Cook (21st).
Adam Thielen did not, although he was ranked 33rd in the 2019 edition of the rankings. Thielen was beset by injury in 2019 and missed nearly half of the season. Evidently, his injury fully erased him from players’ brains when voting on the 2020 inductees.
The 29-year-old will have a critical opportunity to prove voters wrong this season. With Stefon Diggs’ departure to the Buffalo Bills, Thielen will be the bonafide first receiving option on the Vikings for the first time in his life. He will be aided by the addition of rookie Justin Jefferson, but rookies generally do not stomp out of the gate will monstrosity-like seasons. Thielen will be the undisputed showstopper.
With this, it’s interesting to speculate just how Thielen might fare as the first-time alpha Viking in the receiving corps room.
Here is how the Thielen compares to the top-three wide receivers in the NFL as defined by the NFL Top 100. The metrics are analyzed in a per-target fashion rather than per-game or per-season as such parameters can be perceived as “skewed” by a strong WR2 on the player’s respective team.
All statistics are from 2017 to present.