The coronavirus pandemic has forced NFL Draft picks to wait a while longer before they meet their coaches and teammates, and Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen knows how difficult that can make life on rookies.
Thielen, a former undrafted free agent out of Division II school Minnesota State-Mankato, claims that the lack of minicamp would have made it almost impossible for him to make it with the Vikings.
“Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be in the NFL if this would’ve happened my rookie year. It’s kind of crazy to think about those things,” Thielen said to Jeff Wald of FOX9 Sports.
Thielen will have to play the elder statesman role on a young Vikings team, as he will have to mentor first-round pick Justin Jefferson, fifth-round slot receiver KJ Osborn, and undrafted free agent Quartney Davis. Thielen makes no bones about how he had to overcome a lot just to even stick on a pro roster, so he knows as well as anyone the roadmap for success, one he seems willing to share with these rookies.
Thielen is the dictionary definition of a long shot -- he went from a D-II school to undrafted free agency to NFL stardom in a few short years. Offering his council and support for UDFAs trying to take the same path is.