Minnesota Vikings 2005 Draft: What Went Wrong?

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIIJanuary 19, 2009

There is only one word that can describe the 2005 NFL Draft.


With draft busts QB Alex Smith (Pick 1/SF), RB Cedric Benson (Pick 5/CHI), Adam "Pacman" Jones (Pick 6/TEN), Troy Williamson (Pick 7/MIN), Mike Williams (Pick 10/DET), LB David Pollack (Pick 17/CIN), and Matt Jones (Pick 21/JAX), the 2005 NFL Draft is regarded as one of the worst drafts ever.

It is one that the Minnesota Vikings would like to forget as well.

Coming off an 8-8 season (they were 8-6) and the Vikings' first playoff berth since 2000, the Vikings defeated the NFC North Champion Green Bay Packers in the playoffs before being eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings dealt troubled wideout Randy Moss to Oakland for a first round pick, the seventh selection overall.

Vikings fans were excited after their playoff run, and the fact that they now had two first round draft picks. Things were looking up in Minnesota.

So, when draft day came along, huge Viking Draft parties were held all over the state, excited of what the future would bring.

The Vikings needed a wide receiver to replace Randy Moss. After Moss' departure, the Vikes were left with Nate Burleson, Kelly Campbell, Marcus Robinson, Keenan Howry, and Ben Nelson, and desperately needed a big-play receiver.

With the seventh pick, the Vikings selected WR Troy Williamson of South Carolina. Williamson, a two-time 100 and 200 meter dash State Champion in high school, was a surprise pick to go this high, and he was selected because of his breakaway speed. H

The Vikings also needed to bolster their defense, so they selected DE Erasmus "The Eraser" James out of the University of Wisconsin. James accumulated 124 tackles, 18 sacks, forced seven fumbles, and was named to the All Big-Ten Team during his time at Wisconsin.

Troy Williamson only lasted two seasons in Minnesota, where he became notorious for dropping passes. In 2006, he tied for second in the league with 11 drops. In his last game as a Viking in 2007, with the Vikings needing a win to get to the postseason, he dropped two crucial passes in the game against Denver, one for a TD and one for a crucial first down late in the game. The Vikings lost the game, and missed the playoffs. He was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth round pick, and is highly regarded as the worst draft selection in Vikings history.

Erasmus James didn't last long, either. Although he had 28 tackles and four sacks during his rookie campaign, his 2006 and 2007 seasons were full of injuries. He was dealt to the Washington Redskins for a seventh round pick. He appeared in five games for the 2008 Redskins, but after not recording any statistics, he was waived in December.

In the 2005 NFL Draft, the Vikings also selected:

OT Marcus Johnson out of Ole Miss. Johnson (Pick #49) is the only remaining player left from the 2005 Draft. Johnson has appeared in 40 games for the Vikings on the offensive line.

CB Dustin Fox (Pick #80) was a four-year starter at Ohio State, and won the BCS Championship with the Buckeyes in 2002. During full contact drills, he broke the radius bone on his left arm, and was released soon after. He was on the Eagles practice squad during 2006, and was released during the season. He was signed to the Bills practice squad in 2007, and was brought up to the 53 man roster when the Bills placed LB Marcus Buggs on IR.

RB Ciatrick Fason (Pick #112) out of Florida lasted two seasons with the Vikings, rushing for 161 yards and 5 touchdowns, and was cut during training camp of the 2007 season. In 2008, Fason wrote a letter to James Harris, the GM of his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars. In his letter, he told Harris if he could try out for the team. In a related press conference, Fason said that "No matter what he did in his NFL career, he wanted to wear a Jags uniform...even if he were only a practice squad member." The Jaguars signed him on August 25 of 2008, only to be cut five days later.

DT C.J Mosley (Pick #191) out of Missou lasted only one season in Minnesota. He appeared in 12 games, recording 15 tackles and three sacks. He was dealt to the New York Jets during the offseason, in a trade that brought QB Brooks Bollinger to Minnesota. While in a Jets uniform, Mosley has appeared in 29 games, starting two, and has recorded 29 tackles and five sacks during his three season in New York.

CB Adrian Ward (Pick #219) out of UTEP recorded 59 tackles and 5 interceptions while with the Miners. He was released before training camp.

Overall, the Vikings draft was an utter failure. Besides Marcus Johnson, only one player remains with the team from the '05 Draft...undrafted P Chris Kluwe out of UCLA.