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Panthers' Adam Thielen shares NFL Draft experience, offers advice to prospective players

Panthers’ Adam Thielen shares NFL Draft experience, offers advice to prospective players

Tooba Shakir 1 month ago 0 11

Adam Thielen is one of the rare NFL players who went undrafted and became an NFL superstar, earning two Pro Bowl selections in 10 seasons and is still playing presently.

Thielen signed with the Minnesota Vikings after he went undrafted at Minnesota State.

He talked to Fox News Digital about his draft day experience. He said he knew he wasn’t going to be a first-day guy but didn’t expect everything that happened to happen.

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Adam Thielen in October 2023

Adam Thielen of the Carolina Panthers waves to fans as he leaves the field after a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium, Oct. 1, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

“I think, like a lot of athletes, there’s a little bit of realistic and unrealistic expectations that go through your head,” Thielen said. “I remember draft day like it was yesterday. I very realistically knew I wasn’t going to go in the first day. But you always have hopes that at some point your name would be called. I felt like I put up the numbers and had the tape, even though it was Division II football, I put up the numbers and the drills and things like that, which said, ‘Hey, I belong in this league,’ or at least have an opportunity to show that.”

“At the end of the day, I didn’t get drafted, which I figured was a real possibility. And then I think the disappointing thing for me was not getting signed after the draft. I thought at least someone would say, ‘Hey, come here. We’ll give you an opportunity to go to training camp and see what happens.’ But I didn’t get that. I had two teams call me for a rookie camp invite, unsigned. I went to the Vikings first and the rest is history.”

Of the 34 wide receivers selected in the 2014 draft, three of them didn’t appear in an NFL game.

Thielen has played in 152 games between the Vikings and now the Carolina Panthers. He’s about to enter his second year in Carolina. 

Adam Thielen vs Packers

Adam Thielen of the Minnesota Vikings runs down the field on a special teams play against the Green Bay Packers, Nov. 8, 2015, in Minneapolis. (Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

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He offered advice to prospective NFL players as they hope to hear their name called next week.

“I would say that you continue to control what you can control. It doesn’t matter who you are – doesn’t matter where you get drafted, if you don’t get drafted. You just take every single day, and you make the most of every single day. You make sacrifices. You try to become a better person off the field, on the field, every single day. And you focus on that and the process and you kind of let the other stuff play out. I think if I wouldn’t have made it in the NFL, I would’ve felt very good at that time about giving everything that I had.”

“Obviously, there’s things that I wish I could have done better at that time, but at the end of the day, I knew that I gave everything I got to become the best football player I could be and to give myself the best opportunity,” Thielen continued.

“I think that’s probably the biggest piece of advice: make sure that you, no matter how it goes, good or bad, that you have no regrets with how you’ve prepared and how you kind of set yourself up for your opportunity, and you can rest easy knowing you gave everything you got.”

Adam Thielen vs Rams

Adam Thielen (19) of the Minnesota Vikings runs interference for teammate Cordarrelle Patterson during the game against the Rams in St. Louis on Sept. 7, 2014. (Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

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Thielen spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of the Invited Celebrity Classic later this week, which runs from April 19 through April 21. It takes place at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, and can be seen on the GOLF Channel.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

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