Late Bloomer #1: Adam Thielen
Scouts, recruiting services, and everyone in between completely missed on Thielen’s talent and potential. He played his college football at Minnesota State, a division 2 school. He then went undrafted and was lucky to get a chance with the Vikings. Despite failing to make the 53-man roster as a rookie, Thielen was able to hang around on the practice squad and was able to earn his keep early in his career as a special teams player.
Slowly but surely, Thielen saw his role in Minnesota’s offense grow, from eight catches in 2014 to 12 catches in 2015 and eventually 91 catches and a Pro Bowl spot in 2017. He’s now an invaluable part of the Vikings and one of the best receivers in the league.