Who they picked
Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, No. 12 overall
Why they lost
You have to give the Vikings a certain amount of credit—they knew quarterback was a gaping hole and they took a risk to fill it.
However, reaching for Ponder so early in this draft makes them a Day 1 loser. They tried to trade down from 12 to a spot that made more sense value-wise, but no team made them a substantive offer.
As a result, the Vikings were forced to do what they did. But that doesn't mean they did the right thing. Minnesota could have taken one of the impact defensive players on the board at 12 and traded back up to take Ponder later on in the first or early second.