Tracing the Minnesota Vikings' 2011 Woes

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Tracing the Minnesota Vikings' 2011 Woes
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
No clowning around. The Vikings have their work cut out for them.

As the Vikings close out perhaps the worst season in team history, many of us are shaking our heads wondering what went wrong. In short, it's been the proverbial, "when it rains it pours" scenario.

The Vikings were standing on the steps of the Super Bowl just two short years ago. Now they're in the basement of the NFC North. There are lessons here. 

Many teams' sustainability has been fueled by their draft success. The Packers, Patriots, Steelers, and Ravens show time and again the importance of the draft.

Not to over-dramatize the situation, but the 2012 draft is one of the most important in recent Vikings history.

By all accounts the 2011 draft was a heady one for the Vikings. Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph, Christian Ballard, DeMarcus Love, and Mistral Raymond formed the central picks. Two other picks are gone and the remaining nucleus includes WR Stephen Burton, DE D'Aundre Reed, and OL Brandon Fusco. This draft class has the potential to offer long-term results.

Two key factors explain the Vikings' mediocrity of late—questionable draft picks and suspect free agent signings. This article explores both areas and offers suggestions for improvement.

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