Vikings replace Adam Thielen with selection in early 2022 mock draft

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Olave
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Olave /

A very early 2022 mock draft has the Minnesota Vikings using their first-round pick on current Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.

It’s now been a whole two years since Adam Thielen last finished a season for the Minnesota Vikings with more than 1,000 receiving yards. After going over 1,000 yards in both 2017 and 2018, Thielen has failed to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in each of the last two seasons.

He had an excuse for 2019 since he missed a handful of games due to injury for the first time in his career. But last season’s performance, even with 14 touchdown catches, felt like it cemented the fact that we’ve already seen the best Thielen has to offer in Minnesota.

In 2022, the Vikings will have their first opportunity to create additional cap space by parting ways with Thielen. Regardless if they do or not, a recent mock draft has Minnesota beginning the process of moving on from the hometown hero.

Minnesota Vikings find eventual replacement for Adam Thielen in 2022 mock draft

In order for the Vikings to not even consider starting their search to find a replacement for Thielen in 2022, he has to basically have an All-Pro performance in the upcoming season.

Based on what he hasn’t been able to do in the last two years and that Justin Jefferson is likely going to open the 2021 campaign as Minnesota’s No. 1 receiver, expect the team to begin looking for a young pass-catcher to replace the kid from Detroit Lakes after next season.

Despite the 2021 NFL Draft just coming to an end, the 2022 mock drafts have already begun to pop up. One of them has the Vikings using their top pick on a receiver who will likely end up taking Thielen’s spot on the roster whenever the veteran departs from the purple and gold.

In his super early 2022 mock draft, CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson has Minnesota going with current Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave in the first round.

With a total of 19 touchdowns in his last two seasons, Olave could have potentially been one of the first receivers off the board in this year’s draft. But the 6-foot-1, 188-pound pass-catcher is returning for his senior season at Ohio State to see if he can get his stock to increase even more before the 2022 draft.

There’s a chance that Olave might not even be available for the Vikings to select by the time the actual 2022 NFL Draft takes place. But if he is, he could potentially be the guy who ultimately replaces Thielen in Minnesota’s offense.