Monday, April 23, 2012

Minnesota Vikings' history in the 1st rd

With the 2012 NFL Draft only 4 days away we here at Shoot That S! thought we'd take a trip down memory lane and review the Vikes history of 1st Round draft picks.  The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good
1961 - Tommy Mason, RB, Tulane (Pro Bowler)
1964 - Carl Eller, DE, Minnesota (Hall of Fame and member of the famed Purple People Eaters)
1967 - Clinton Jones, RB, Michigan State
           Gene Washington, WR, Michigan State (Pro-Bowler was team's first true deep threat)
           Alan Page, DT, Notre Dame (capped off perhaps the best draft class in Vikings history, Hall of Fame)
1968 - Ron Yary, OT, USC (HOF Tackle from USC.......will Matt Kahlil be the next??)
1970 - John Ward, OT, Oklahoma State (solid member of Vikes o-line)
1972 - Jeff Siemon, MLB, Stanford (4-time Pro Bowler manned the middle for 3 Super Bowls)
1973- Chuck Foreman, RB, Miami (Rookie of the Year made the Pro Bowl 5 times)
1974- Fred McNeil, LB, UCLA (overshadowed by draft's other LB, Matt Blair, but solid nonetheless)
1975 - Mark Mullaney, DE, Colorado St (played 12 seasons in MN, first player ever to wear a helmet visor)
1977- Tommy Kramer, QB, Rice (Touchdown Tommy threw for over 24,000 yds)
1979- Ted Brown, RB, NC State (8 seasons with the Vikes yielded 7500 yds and 53 TDs)
1980- Doug Martin, DE, Washington (played all 10 seasons in MN, All-Pro in 1982)
1983 - Joey Browner, S, USC (6-time Pro Bowler was member of NFL All-Decade team in the 80s)
1984- Keith Millard, DT, Washington St (dominant force was Defensive POY in 89, major knee injury a year later derailed a promising career)
1985- Chris Doleman, DE, Pittsburgh (HOF, 8 Pro Bowls, 150.5 sacks)
1988- Randall McDaniel, OG, Arizona St (last 1st rd pick for 4 years was a good one, 12 Pro Bowls and the HOF)
1993- Robert Smith, RB, Ohio St (Vikes all-time leading rusher was a 2-time Pro Bowler)
1994 - Todd Steussie, OT, Cal (anchored the Vikes o-line for 7 seasons including 2 Pro Bowls)
1995- Korey Stringer, OT, Ohio St (started 91 games in 6 seasons before passing away tragically in his prime)
1997- Dewayne Rudd, LB, Alabama (borderline "good" pick was an 2nd team All-Pro in 98)
1998- Randy Moss, WR, Marshall (not much that needs to be said, the Super Freak will go down as one of the best ever)
1999- Daunte Culpepper, QB, UCF (much maligned, he was a 3 time Pro Bowler and in 04 broke the NFL record for most total yardage by a QB)
2000- Chris Hovan, DT, Boston College (played 77 games in 5 years for the Vikes, solid DT on bad defenses)
2003- Kevin Williams, DT, Oklahoma St (6 time Pro-Bowler made an instant impact and made half of the Williams Wall)
2006- Chad Greenway, LB, Iowa (missed his rookie season with a knee injury, returned to lead the team in tackles in each season since)
2007- Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma (made up for many failed Purple picks at the #7 spot, "AP" was the ROY, 4 time Pro-Bowler and broke the NFL single game rushing record)
2009- Percy Harvin, WR, Florida (dynamic player was ROY and Pro-Bowler in his first season, just entering his prime)

The Bad
1965 - Jack Snow, WR, Notre Dame (dealt on draft day to the Rams where he played 10 seasons, 1 Pro Bowl)
1966 - Jerry Shay, DL, Purdue (#7 overall pick lasted only two seasons with the Purple)
1976- James White, DT, Oklahoma State (lasted 6 seasons but a drop off from previous drafts)
1978- Randy Holloway, DE, Pittsburgh (21st pick played 6 uneventful seasons for the Purple)
1982- Darrin Nelson, RB, Stanford (decent career with 7,000 yds rushing/receiving but was picked #7 overall and three picks ahead of Marcus Allen....ouch)
1994- Dewayne Washington, CB, NC State (played 4 okay seasons in MN but was 18th overall and always left us wanting more)
1995 - Derrick Alexander, DE, Florida St (11th overall pick lasted only 4 seasons in MN, taken ahead of Warren Sapp and Hugh Douglas)
1996- Duane Clemons, DE, Cal (another failed 90s d-lineman, played 4 seasons with the Purple)
2001- Michael Bennett, RB, Wisconsin (tasked with replacing R. Smith, he had one solid season but couldn't stay healthy or hold on to the football)
2002- Bryant McKinnie, OT, Miami (he did make the Pro Bowl once but was taken 7th overall and never lived up to the "mountainous" hype that surrounded his entrance into the NFL)
2004- Kenechi Udeze, DE, USC (a promising college career never translated into the NFL and he left the game early after being diagnosed with leukemia)

The Ugly
1971 - Leo Hayden, RB, Ohio State (1 year with the Vikes and out of the league 2 years later)
1986- Gerald Robinson, DE, Auburn (ended streak of great 1st rd picks in mid 80s, lasted only 2 seasons with Purple)
1987- D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn St (14th overall pick, his failure led in part to the trade for Herschel Walker two years later)
1999- Dimitrius Underwood, DE, Michigan St (Denny Green's "bonus pick" was one of the worst 1st rd picks in NFL history, walked out of training camp after his first day never to return)
2005 - Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina (drafted #7 to replace Randy Moss, he couldn't catch and was dealt 3 years later)
           Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin (two major knee injuries ended his stint with the Vikes after 3 seasons)

The Undecided
2011- Christian Ponder, QB, FSU (promising start to his rookie season but seemed to regress in the midst of injuries and poor play around him)

*many thanks to Wikipedia and for helping with this article.

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