View photos from workouts at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that include quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends.
Former Golden Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson has received plenty of support from Vikings receiver Adam Thielen.
Although Thielen was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, the Minnesota native developed into a two-time Pro Bowler and has ample advice to offer Johnson as the former Minneapolis North star strives to make an impression this week in Indianapolis.
Johnson, who trains at Thielen's ETS Performance gym in Lakeville, said he's heard from the Vikings wideout "quite a bit" during this process.
"I was able to work out with him when I got back to Minnesota for the past few days," Johnson told reporters during his media session earlier this week. "He just told me to be me. That was important to me, important to him, and he felt it was best for me."
In addition to Thielen, Johnson said he appreciates watching and learning from a number of receivers across the league, including another Viking.
"I like to watch guys like Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, the list goes on," Johnson said. "Those guys are fearless competitors. Their passion for the game is amazing. Watching them make plays is very exciting."
Over four seasons at the University of Minnesota, Johnson played 49 games for the Gophers. He finished his collegiate career with 213 catches for 3,305 yards (averaging 15.5 yards per reception) and 33 touchdowns. The career yards and receiving touchdowns are school records, and his receptions total ranks second.
Johnson made the decision to not participate in on-field timing and testing drills at the combine. He instead plans to participate in Minnesota's Pro Day on March 25.
"It was pretty difficult, because it's a prime-time event, and I love to compete," he said. "To showcase my talent on prime-time television is something I'd love to do, but being able to make the best decision for me was most important. March 25 is when I'll be comfortable."
Below are highlights from additional media sessions, on-field workouts and social media regarding receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends participating in the combine this week.
AT THE MIC
Note: players that are included in this section have been listed among the top players in their position group by NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and/or Bucky Brooks, have a Vikings/local connection or have been linked to the Vikings in a mock draft by an expert or mentioned as a possibility in an interview. They are grouped by position and listed alphabetically by last name.
WR Jerry Jeudy | Alabama
Jeremiah has Jeudy ranked as No. 10 overall prospect.
42 games; 159 catches for 2,742 yards (17.2 average) and 26 touchdowns
On the importance of family in his life: "My family really stuck by my side the whole way through this process. They've been there for me doing everything they need to do so I'll be well-prepared and able to focus on what I've got to do. My mom [has been] a really hard worker since I was young. I get my work ethic from her; she really works hard to put food on the table for us and take care of us."
WR CeeDee Lamb | Oklahoma
Jeremiah has Lamb ranked as No. 9 overall prospect.
41 games; 173 catches for 3,292 (19.0 average) and 32 touchdowns; also had nine carries for 20 rushing yards and a touchdown
On the depth of the 2020 receivers class: "This receivers class this year is honestly unbelievable, in my eyes. You can't really go wrong with anybody you draft in the first, second, third or fourth rounds. Doesn't matter. The seventh. You're going to get a great pick. Me and the guys, we were just talking about it yesterday, we're very deep in this class."
QB Joe Burrow | LSU
Jeremiah has Burrow ranked as No. 3 overall prospect.
38 games (for Ohio State and LSU); 650-of-945 passing for 8,852 yards, 78 touchdowns and 11 interceptions; 172.4 passer rating; set an NCAA record for season-long passer rating of 202.0 in 2019 on way to winning Heisman (min. 15 completions per game)
On which teams he supported growing up: "I followed a lot of different teams. I lived in North Dakota in first and second grade. I was a Vikings fan. I then moved to Ohio and became a Saints fan, actually. Reggie Bush had just gotten drafted, and I was a big Drew Brees fan. I liked the Saints for a while, and then I became kind of a Browns fan eventually for a couple years. I was a bandwagon fan."
QB Tua Tagovailoa | Alabama
Jeremiah has Tagovailoa ranked as No. 7 overall prospect.
33 games; 474-of-684 passing for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions; 199.4 passer rating, which is an NCAA career record (min. 325 completions)
On decision to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft: "It was hard. It was hard because, first off, my teammates. I would be leaving a lot of the guys that I built relationships with on the team, but with Coach [Nick] Saban and Coach [Steve] Sark' (Sarkisian) and the guys on the coaching staff, I built a great relationship with all of those guys and ... it was a hard decision. I sat down and talked to my family about making the decision. I just thought that the NFL … I needed to move on to the next challenge, the next chapter of my life. That's the decision I stayed with."
QB James Morgan | Florida International University
Jeremiah mentioned Morgan as a possibility for the Vikings in the later rounds.
44 games (for Bowling Green State University and FIU); 699-of-1,221 passing for 8,654 yards, 65 touchdowns and 34 interceptions; 128.8 passer rating
On being from Green Bay and watching Brett Favre: "He was my hero growing up. Since before I can remember, I played football and just growing up with him in my background and watching the magic that he did, I remember that Monday night game the day after his dad died, I was up late watching that, my parents let me stay up late, I was just mesmerized with how amazing that was and the performances he consistently put out. Just the gunslinger mentality I've tried to emulate with my own game. I'm not scared to make any throw. At the same time, [a reporter] mentioned [Aaron] Rodgers, too. You've got to have the Rodgers [mentality of], 'It might be safer here to take the check-down or something instead of trying to force it.' I take a little bit from both of their games but definitely an inspiration for me."
TE Hunter Bryant | Washington
Brooks has Bryant as the No. 2 tight end.
26 games; 85 catches for 1,294 yards (16.4 average) and five touchdowns
On his earliest football memory: "Probably my first play ever. I was 5 years old, and I was playing running back. And the first time I touched the ball, I scored. It was like an 80-year touchdown. And like the next three times I touched it, I scored. So I had like four carries and four touchdowns that game. That's when I knew what I wanted to do."
TE Adam Trautman | Dayton
Brooks has Trautman as the No. 4 tight end.
44 games; 178 catches for 2,295 yards (12.9 average) and 31 touchdowns
On transitioning from QB to TE: "I was actually the one who brought it up to my coaches. High school-wise, I played with, like, 18 kids on my varsity team my junior year of high school, 22 my senior year. The team concept was a little rough, to be honest. And then when I got to Dayton, you play non-scholarship football. No one has any egos, and you truly play for each other. And that's something that I thought was so special, and I wanted to be a part of so fast. So I was the one that offered it up to our OC, and he kind of looked at me weird. It was only, like, seven days into camp, and I was like, 'Hey, I just want to be a part of this, and I know I can bring a whole new dynamic to the tight end position.' I eventually made the switch, and it was the greatest decision I've ever made in my life."
TE Jared Pinkney | Vanderbilt
Brooks has Pinkney as the No. 5 tight end.
50 games; 114 catches for 1,560 yards (13.7 average) and 14 touchdowns
On which tight ends he watched growing up: "Growing up, obviously I'm from Atlanta, and Tony [Gonzalez] showed up relatively early, so being able to watch him, it was unbelievable. Every Sunday. And then Rob Gronkowski, who came into the league in 2011. Now, I try and watch everybody, from the [Travis] Kelces and the [George] Kittles and the [Kyle] Rudolphs all the way to the rookies, like [T.J.] Hockenson and [Noah] Fant and Irv Smith [Jr.] and Foster Moreau. I just want to watch everybody because everybody offers a different skill set and they're able to win in different ways."
ON THE FIELD
Fastest 40: Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III clocked the fastest time in the 40-yard dash on Thursday, running the drill in 4.27 seconds. That was 0.05 shy of tying the combine record set by John Ross in 2017.
Big hops: Michigan receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones had the best performance Thursday in the vertical jump (44.5 inches, which is just shy of Chris Conley's combine record of 45.0 in 2015). Peoples-Jones also led the group with a broad jump of 11 feet, 7 inches.
Click here to see this year's top performers in timing and testing drills.
Note: Thaddeus Moss, the son of Randy and LSU product, did not participate in on-field drills, but Eric Smith caught up with the younger Moss this week for a feature.