The Minnesota Vikings held their rookie minicamp this past weekend, inviting 34 players to the event on a tryout basis. It appears at least one of those players has earned a bigger opportunity, as Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN-Twin Cities reported that wide receiver Adam Thielen said he will sign with the team on Monday, pending a physical.
Thielen is a local product, from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and played collegiately at Minnesota State-Mankato. As a senior in 2012 he led the Mavericks in receptions (74), receiving yards (1,176) and receiving touchdowns (eight), while also serving as the team’s primary punt returner. He finished his college career in the top five in school history in receptions (198-second), receiving yards (2,802-third) and receiving touchdowns (20-third), as well as sixth in all-purpose yards (3,503).
Thielen participated in a couple of regional combines leading up to the NFL Draft, and posted 40-yard dash times in the 4.4-second range during the event in Chicago back in March. But he was surely not a familiar name to most NFL teams, so it was not surprising that he went undrafted last month.
Even with the moves that were made in free agency (Greg Jennings) and the draft (Cordarrelle Patterson), the Vikings still need to continue upgrading their talent pool at wide receiver. So Thielen is an intriguing player based on that alone, and he may force the team to make room for him on the final 53-man roster with a good showing through the rest of offseason work and into training camp. One name that stands out to me as being on the roster bubble in that scenario is Stephen Burton, who has just seven catches over the last two seasons in 15 games played.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.