Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, which leaves Thielen without an experienced partner in the team’s offensive system. First-round pick Justin Jefferson, Bisi Johnson, Tajae Sharpe, Chad Beebe and fifth-rounder K.J. Osborn are all 25 or younger, which opens the door for Thielen to play more of a mentor role as the team tries to find the right mix.
Thielen said this week that he’s looking forward to filling that role for the Vikings this year.
The biggest thing is just allowing them to trust me as a person and as a player to be a resource for them,” Thielen said, via ESPN.com. “First of all, it is good to create a relationship virtually right now to the point where they feel comfortable asking questions or calling me or coming to train with me. Things like that. That’s really my job. I know that I’ve been able to learn from some veterans that came before me as far as how they handled those things and how they helped me become the player I am. I’m just trying to be that resource for those guys and to know that, hey, when I’m teaching these guys and when I’m talking to them, I’m really talking to myself, because there are a lot of things that I need to get better at.”
One of the questions the Vikings will answer has to do with how the receivers will line up. Thielen has worked well out of the slot in the past, but that’s also where Jefferson played at LSU last year. Thielen said he’s comfortable playing anywhere in a receiving group that’s going to look a lot different than it did in 2019.