The Minnesota Vikings have been graced with some indelible players throughout their 50-year existence, but in the mix of those positive memories are a collection of some of the most overrated players to ever wear a Vikings uniform.
Whether it was a player not being able to translate to pro play, or just showing himself to be a natural disaster, these 25 players throughout Vikings history are some of the most overrated players the Vikings fans have ever had to muster through.
Let's take a look.
It's always hard to mention a kicker here, but Danmeier quickly absorbed an overrated tag after one good season (1981: 21-of-25) that was supposed to progressively translate into the following years.
Obviously, it never did.
An interesting note, however, was Danmeier was the last kicker in the NFL (to my knowledge) to utilize the straight-line kicking style.
One of the issues that helped form a overrated tag—albeit a small tag—were the accolades that followed Cuozzo before coming to Minnesota.
Cuozzo was a backup to Johnny Unitas and the first starting quarterback for the then expansion team New Orleans Saints, so the Vikings really felt they grabbed themselves a solid solution under center here.
It didn't exactly pan out quite the way the Vikings had hoped for, as Cuozzo threw more interceptions than touchdowns (43:55 TD:INT ratio) while sporting a low 62.1 QB rating after four miserable years.
Drafted in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Boireau was supposed to be an inexpensive draft selection that had more upside than he did cost.
But the defensive tackle never truly panned out, and after two sub-par seasons, Boireau was relegated to retirement due to a degenerative hip disease.
Vanderkelen's claim to fame before becoming a Viking was when he played in the 1963 Rose Bowl, breaking all sorts of crazy records.
If that's not enough, in August 1963, he started the Chicago College All-Star Game, which featured college all-stars against the defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers.
The all-stars defeated the Packers 20-17 with a 74-yard touchdown, and Vanderkelen was named the MVP.
All the hype made Vanderkelen look a lot better than he actually was, and it showed after failing to earn a starting job after the Vikings traded Fran Tarkenton in 1967, despite backing him up for four years.
Hayden was the Vikings' first-round draft selection out of Ohio State in the 1971 NFL draft.
The Vikings, at the time, were in need of a running back, and Joe Hayden had sported 1,395 rushing yards with seven rushing TDs in three years at Ohio State—needless to say, the Vikings truly felt they had their man.
Hayden, however, would show himself to be a huge bust at the pro level, as he never gained a single yard for the Minnesota Vikings.
In defense of the organization, the best running back of the 1971 draft, John Riggins, was already off the board.
The Vikings were hungry for a vertical receiver with a huge amount of speed, and the ability to become that "No. 1" that Sammy White and Darrin Nelson never quite rose up to be.
In the second round of the 1981 NFL draft, the Vikings thought they had found their man, only once again to spend a relatively high draft pick for a player that did absolutely nothing other than earn the overrated tag.
Wynn played quarterback for Southwest Texas State University in 1998 and 1999, and during that time, Wynn piled up 3,497 yards passing, which was good for sixth on Southwest Texas State's record books.
While Wynn's career began with Cleveland, it was when he landed in Minnesota that things got a bit sticky.
During preseason, Wynn was claimed as being a guy who was able to take the job as a third string quarterback with second string benefits and first string possibility.
Daunte Culpepper, and Todd Bouman were the No. 1 and 2 QBs, but through preseason, the hype remained until Wynn actually saw action as a Viking and then clearly saw why the Browns got rid of him in the first place.
A third round selection out of Mexico, the Vikings thought they had found themselves another solid inexpensive alternative at corner, but yet again, found themselves with a dud.
The crazy part here is that McDonald played on a defense that saw 10 stars go to the Pro Bowl in 1998, so you would think he would've picked something up other than an overrated tag.
The Vikings acquired Wasswa Serwanga from the 49ers in 2000, thinking they had found the answer they were looking for at CB.
The problem was, Wasswa Serwanga never amounted to anything other than a total bust and overrated player, which stemmed from his time as a once highly touted high school prospect out of Sacramento California.
To be clear, I am not talking about the Vikings WR who also wore this name—a monumental bust in his own right—rather, I am talking about the heavily touted defensive end that played for Minnesota.
The Vikings—at the time—were shopping and planning for their next big pass rusher, and really believed that Alexander was their man, despite Hugh Douglas and Warren Sapp being readily available as well.
As most of you know, Alexander never lived up to his first round hype.
Another end that was supposed to blossom into that coveted pass rusher form the outside was Fernando Smith, and yet again, the Vikings' hopes were squashed after four years with Smith.
Smith was considered the best defensive end in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft, and the Vikings took the bait, but never reeled in the catch they had hoped for.
To be honest, the 1994 NFL Draft produced the worst collective group of talent outside of Marshall Faulk and Todd Steussie.
Another first round selection to help the interior line; another overrated player added to the annuals of Vikings history.
In three years, Clemons garnered just 18.5 sacks and the worst part was the Vikings PASSED on Ray Lewis, who would've solved for "X" at linebacker, which is another position they were hungry for.
Underwood was highly regarded as being an above average player who was more than ready to plug and play in the pro-circuit, causing the Vikings to yet again take the bait.
Not even one camp later, Underwood was an afterthought who wore one of the biggest overrated tags in recent years.
Personal issues would be his undoing.
In order to understand why I list Hovan as an overrated player, one must first understand what did in college and what the Vikings envisioned with him thanks to those accomplishments.
Chris Hovan was an All-American at Boston College and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award. He also became the first player in Boston College history to be named All-Big East three times, finishing his career starting 43 of 45 games and recording 20.5 sacks.
The problem, though, is that the Vikings were really hoping for a Jared Allen-esque player in Hovan, and that never materialized.
Hovan was serviceable, but overrated just the same.
Another monumental overrated player for the Vikings was first rounder Erasmus James out of Wisconsin.
What made him so exciting was his collegiate career that garnered 124 tackles (25.5 for losses), 18 sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and six pass deflections.
Nicknamed "The Eraser" due to his ability to sack the quarterback, James' supposed ability never cam through at the pro level, as he accomplished five sacks in four years.
Nelson was the seventh pick of the first round in 1982 out of Stanford, and he was touted as a dual threat type of player, which is what attracted the Vikings so much.
Trouble was, he garnered just 4,231 yards and 18 touchdowns in 10 years, which is the kind of average that is usually associated with an overrated player.
Just for good measure, the Vikings could've had Marcus Allen.
At the University of Kentucky, Moe Williams made a huge impact setting a freshman rushing record with 986 yards in 1993 while gaining 58 yards on 13 carries in the Peach Bowl.
Williams would continue to make noise rushing for 805 yards despite a one-win season, and in the following year (1995), Williams again set a school record by rushing for over 1,600 yards with seven 100-yard performances, so it was no wonder why the Viking were interested in him so badly.
Williams did have one solid year to his credit (2003: 745 rushing yards and 644 receiving yards), but never amounted to much more, showing himself to be more overrated than undervalued.
Touted as one of the best pass rushers coming out of Alabama, Rudd never really lived up to his glorified expectations.
Rudd had 10 sacks and 250 tackles in four seasons with the Vikes, which wasn’t bad, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire, lending argument to Rudd being overrated.
Say what you will, but AS A VIKING, did the guy take this team to the Super Bowl with his superior leadership skills?
Did Favre pour on that magic that only Green Bay has seemingly enjoyed? Did Favre wind up accomplishing what the Vikings had envisioned?
NO, no and no.
Yes, Favre did put up stellar numbers, but that's about it. The truth is, Brett Favre, at that point in his career, was overrated and chasing a shadow in a Vikings uniform, nothing more.
Let's see, failure to live up to the hype, keep his weight down or just simply find a way to improve.
Did I miss something?
Do ya think he's too low?
Williamson was supposed to be an inexpensive replacement for Randy Moss as he was highly touted for his vertical threat, and natural speed.
But all Williamson was at the time was a terribly overrated WR, and 20 picks down the board was Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White.
If it weren't for Brett Favre, Sidney Rice may not have ever "come into his own."
But to be honest, for what the Vikings envisioned Rice to be—their true down-field threat—Rice just wound up showing himself to be overrated.
To be fair here, Rice did make quite a number of plays, even in down-field situations. The problem, however, was his level of consistent play, which hurts his "rating," so to speak.
Randy Moss was one of the most exciting players in Vikings history, the best in the business at the time.
The guy had hands that most receivers only dream of, and his first few years in the league are as memorable as they come.
But when you try to gauge whether or not a player is underrated or overrated, you have to take into account EVERYTHING, not just the warm fuzzy memories that everyone talks about around the cooler.
Moss was clutch in any given regular season, but his postseason drops and lackluster play—along with his personal issues on and off the field—just digs into his overall value, and to me, not being a complete player when you have above average talent makes you overrated.
I don't think, unlike the last slide, I'll get too much argument here.
In the infamous trade between the Cowboys, the Vikings wound up with one of the most overrated running backs in the NFL at the time, and they basically gave up the farm for Walker.
Walker had his moments in Minnesota, no doubt, but he was nowhere near what the organization thought he was going to be, and simply proved that he was incredibly overrated as a player.
I don't care what anyone says—including that stupid mention of Bernard Berrian's 99-yard catch some folks come limping to the barn with—Bernard Berrian is one of the biggest and most overrated players in Vikings franchise history.
The guy can't run a route to save his life, he has shown time and time again he is fearful of taking a hit in traffic and quits on more plays than he goes the extra mile for.
After Berrian signed his hefty—over-absorbed—$48 million dollar contract, his decline in play rapidly began to rear its ugly head.
A true professional gets better with time. He learns from his mistakes and shows constant improvement while quietly earning every red cent that is paid to him.
A pretender takes the check, does the bare minimum and every once in a while, does something that everybody gets excited over, but nothing more.
Which description do YOU think Berrian falls under?