Each spring every professional football team heads to the NFL draft hoping to find gold. And we're not talking about the shiny, polished gems you find in the first two rounds. Those guys were All-Americans and more than likely standouts at the combine. They don't always work out, but they're pretty easy picks at the time.
No, what we're talking about is what the New England Patriots did in 2000, when they used their sixth-round pick, the 199th overall choice, on a quarterback out of Michigan named Tom Brady. (What did the football world think of Brady at the time? Vikings fans will chuckle to hear that a guy named Spergon Wynn was taken 16 spots ahead of Brady.)
Now obviously getting a Tom Brady, or the likes of, in the sixth round doesn't happen much, but it's the example always used to prove how important every pick is each year.
In 2012, the Washington Redskins grabbed a nobody running back out of Florida Atlantic in the sixth round named Alfred Morris. In 2011, the Seattle Seahawks used a fifth-round choice on cornerback Richard Sherman.
NFL scouts and player personnel can pore over all the game tape there is and interview players over and over, but the truth is, sometimes you just can't tell who's going to succeed at the next level and who isn't.
Just two years ago, Vontaze Burfict entered his senior season at Arizona State as one of the most highly regarded linebackers in the nation. An uneven senior season ended with Burfict being benched for his team's bowl game, and then he came off like an immature crybaby at the combine.
He didn't get drafted. Signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals, followed up a phenomenal rookie season by leading the league in tackles and being named All-Pro in 2013.
You just never know.
The late rounds have been pretty kind to the Minnesota Vikings over the last six years, finding the likes of John Sullivan, Jamarca Sanford, Brandon Fusco, Blair Walsh and Audie Cole in the sixth and seventh rounds.
That's not to say that there aren't sleepers to be had in every round. For some reason or another, some players are just cut out to succeed in the NFL, and others aren't.
Here's a look at some players who would fit the bill as sleepers for the Vikings in the 2014 draft.