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Thielen or Mingo for WR1?



Faraz’s Pick: Jonathan Mingo (WR63, 141.0 - 12th Round)


Simply put, I think Mingo has a shot at becoming Bryce Young’s #1 target. The way I see it is Adam Thielen on the outside, just like where he spent a majority of his passing snaps over the last several years in Minnesota, Terrace Marshall on the other side as the X, and Jonathan Mingo as the slot receiver.


Mingo can gobble up receptions short to intermediate out of the slot, and can be Young’s safety valve. I do think he has PPR WR3 upside and he can run all of the routes you want him to run out of the slot.


If you look at Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception profile on him, those out routes, in the flat, slant routes, curl routes - he’s dominated on those particular patterns. That’s exactly what you want to see if he’s going to be running out of the slot, which is where I anticipate him working from most of the time.


Despite his size, I think his athleticism and short to intermediate route running is perfect for the slot. I saw it first hand at the Senior Bowl; the dude was just gobbling up targets and receptions. Two guys were doing that, actually: Mingo, and Puka Nacua. But Mingo was just doing everything, and if he was on my Senior Bowl practice week fantasy team, he would’ve been the PPR WR1. He got the draft capital, they’re impressed with him, and I think the hype will start to build once training camp starts.

 

Zach’s Pick: Adam Thielen (WR64, 142.9 - 12th Round)


Look around the Panthers wide receiver room, and you don’t find a whole lot in terms of established talent outside of Thielen. Yes, Jonathan Mingo can come along during the season and emerge as a legit X – but that will take time. Laviska Shenault, Terrace Marshall, and D.J. Chark are all role players, but none will register snap shares to outperform their ADPs.


That leaves Thielen, who Panthers beat reporters are saying has a real chance to lead Carolina in receptions this year. Bryce Young is, well, young, and veteran receivers like Thielen tend to be a young quarterback’s best friend.


Thielen is getting up there in age, I’ll concede that… but the Panthers signed him to a 3-year deal and clearly plan to feature him in the offense. If he’s the Panthers WR1 for five or six weeks to open the season, that’s going to be enough volume even with a rookie at quarterback to shatter his WR64 ADP. And even then, the likelihood of Thielen slipping behind another receiver besides Mingo in 2023 is very low, so at worst, he’s the WR2 on a team that could realistically contend for a division title.


He clearly has a knack for finding the end zone, too, evidenced by 30 touchdowns over the past three seasons in Minnesota. I’ll take the most experienced receiver in a room full of young receivers.

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