Worst to Best: Minnesota Vikings Past 5 Drafts
The Minnesota Vikings have had some success on draft day the past few years. Whether or not they strike gold again this year remains to be seen. Here is how well the team has done, in order from worst to best, over the past 5 years. Also, please note that, in 2008, the team traded it's first and 2 third round picks to the Kansas City Chiefs for Jared Allen and that will not factor into how I choose the best and worst drafts. My opinion is strictly based on how the players chosen in the draft have performed.
This was probably one of the worst drafts in team history (which would make sense considering the team traded half of its drafts for Hershel Walker). None of the players selected in this draft are with the team anymore. With their two 1st rounders, the Vikings selected WR Troy Williamson and DE Erasmus James. James could not play consistently and stay healthy. Williamson dropped way more passes than he caught and was eventually traded to Jacksonville. G Marcus Johnson, the 2nd round pick, lasted the longest, but was never able to play consistently on the offensive line. 4th round pick Ciatrick Fason, RB out of Florida, was the only other player who saw some playing time, but he wouldn't make it as a starter. It should also be noted that this was the last draft during the Mike Tice era.
As mentioned before, the team traded 3 picks for Jared Allen, so this draft wasn't necessarily a lost cause. Although two of the players chosen in this draft are current starters on the team, some people are question whether or not they should be replaced. S Tyrell Johnson, the teams only selection on day one of the draft, has seen regular playing time, but has been somewhat problematic in giving up big plays. C John Sullivan was a solid starter for all of last season after Matt Birk left to sign with Baltimore. But, for some reason, people think that people might draft C Maurkice Pouncey to challenge him. The team might have thought they found a prospective future QB in John David Booty, but ended up letting him go to sign with another team. If Johnson and Sullivan don't pan out, the Jared Allen trade might be the only positive from this draft day.
2006 was quite a successful draft for the Vikings. The only reason it's here on the list is because 2007 and 2009 were better. This draft produced 3 defensive starters: LB Chad Greenway, CB Cedric Griffin and DE Ray Edwards. Greenway has played like an all-star while Edwards and Griffin have improved each year. In the 2nd round, the team selected QB Tarvaris Jackson and Ryan Cook, a C who converted to G, who are both excellent backups (and inconsistent starters). The only player from this draft not on the team is 5th round pick Greg Blue, a S who didn't make the team after training camp in '07.
2009 (1st place tie)
It's just too difficult to choose a winner here because both the 2009 and 2007 had the Vikings selecting the player who would end up being named Rookie of the Year. 1st round selection Percy Harvin was explosive as both a WR and a KR. He ended up being the 10th Viking selected the Pro Bowl as a replacement for KR DeSean Jackson of the Eagles (who was disqualified from this position because he was also selected and participated as a WR). In the 2nd round, the team wound up with OT Phil Loadholt, who very well could have been taken in the first round. Loadholt started the whole season and it doesn't look like he will be giving up his starting job soon. The other three selections were CB Asher Allen, LB Jasper Brinkley and S Jamarca Sanford and they all started at least one game last season. Sanford could even challenge Tyrell Johnson for a starting spot next season and Brinkley and Allen appear to be filling in as starters for next year if Cedric Griffin and EJ Henderson don't recover from serious injuries they suffered last season. Overall, the 2009 draft was probably one of the most complete and positive drafts in team history.
2007 (1st place tie)
In this draft, the Vikings got franchise running back and then rookie of the year Adrian Peterson. The only reason this draft ties with 2009 is because some of the players from this draft didn't work out and all of the players from the '09 draft have some upside to them. Along with future hall-of-famer AP, the Vikes took WR Sidney Rice who had a breakout year with Brett Favre at QB last season. 3rd round pick CB Marcus McCauley didn't really work out well, but 4th rounder Brian Robison has been great as a backup on the defensive line at both DT and DE. The only downside from this draft is that not one of the 4 players taken in rounds 5-7 is not with the team. 2nd day draft choices don't necessarily make it all the time, but it's usually nice to find at least one each year that can contribute in some way. Although the team had a strong starter in Chester Taylor, they gambled on Adrian Peterson. That is why the 2007 draft is one of the best draft the team has had in the past five years, and probably even the last decade.