Brian Wierima / Forum Communications Co., Published May 11 2013
Detroit Lakes product gets shot with Vikings
Thielen took a physical for the Minnesota Vikings last week and signed a contract with the team. He will now report to Winter Park Monday for team workouts and a place on the wide receiving corps.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The former Laker impressed the Vikings coaching staff enough to offer him a contract and the chance to make the 53-player roster during training camp, which starts July 26, at Thielen’s college alma mater, Minnesota State-Mankato.
Thielen made the most of his opportunity after being invited to try out for the Vikings, with the hurdle of being star struck non-existent.
“They gave me every opportunity that they gave everyone else and I went in with the mindset that I belonged there,” Thielen said of the rookie mini-camp. “It just reminded me how much I love the game of football.”
Thielen ran plenty of routes during the five-day mini-camp, which had all of the Vikings’ 2013 draft picks, along with the first and second-year invitees.
The Vikings draft class included No. 29 overall pick Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
“C.P. is a real good guy and he helped me out a lot,” Thielen said of Patterson. “It was fun meeting with him and striking up a friendship with him.”
But make no mistake about it, Thielen didn’t enter the mini-camp intimidated or just being happy making it that far.
Vikings receivers coach George Stewart gave positive reactions to Thielen throughout the mini-camp, giving the Mavericks wideout plenty of encouragement and advice.
“Coach Stewart is an amazing coach and he’s been around the NFL a long time,” Thielen said. “In the four days I was there, I learned a lot from him.”
Which led to Thielen meeting with Vikings head coach Leslie Frasier, who broke the news to him that the team was going to offer him a contract.
“You’d think one would be star-struck, but I felt comfortable talking with Coach Frasier and I already felt a part of the team,” Thielen said.
Thielen’s college numbers speak for themselves, as well.
He posted 74 catches for 1,176 yards with eight touchdowns his senior season at Mankato. He finished as the Mavericks’ second all-time leading receiver, with 198 receptions, and third in yardage with 2,802 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Thielen has legit NFL receiver size at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, while possessing top-end speed (4.45-4.49) and reliable hands.
Brian Wierima is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune