In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft class of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Up next? Well, that’s the Minnesota Vikings.
Each pick from the draft classes has been assigned a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how Minnesota drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Unfortunately, John David Booty wasn’t that guy.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
John Sullivan, C (187th overall pick in 2008): It took Sullivan a while to get going, but the former sixth-round pick is arguably the form center in the league with his showing over the past two years. Tremendous value for a player who was third in his positional rankings in 2011 and then topped it a year later.
Percy Harvin, WR (22nd overall pick in 2009): Despite missing time Harvin spent four seasons establishing himself as one of the league’s most dangerous players. Even in limited action in 2012 (623 snaps) he still earned a +12.9 grade and led his peers in forcing missed tackles. Turning him into the selection of draft picks they were able to this offseason pushes this even higher.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Phil Loadholt, T (54th overall pick in 2009): There are times when it looks like Loadholt has lead feet, but he’s emerged as one of the premier run blocking tackles in the league, who also holds up in pass protection. Top ranked run blocking right tackle in 2011 and second a year later.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Letroy Guion, DT (152nd overall pick in 2008): The former fifth-rounder didn’t handle the starting role he was given this year all that well, but he’s contributed since being selected in 2011. May be better suited to being a part of a rotation.
Jamarca Sanford, S (231st overall pick in 2009): Looked like a seventh-rounder for most of his career, but was part of an improved Vikings secondary last year. Also been a decent special teamer during his time.
0.0: Nothing ventured, nothing gained (It could have been worse)
John David Booty, QB (137th overall pick in 2008): Once Brett Favre was signed up in 2009, the Booty project was never going to get the investment he initially thought when he declared Minnesota the team he wanted to draft him.
Jaymar Johnson, WR (193rd overall pick in 2008): Lasted three seasons in Minnesota, though spending one of those on the practice squad and another on injured reserve meant Vikings fans rarely got to see him. A shame, because he flashed talent in preseason.
Jasper Brinkley, LB (150th overall pick in 2009): After three largely uneventful years was set for an every-down role in 2012. It did not go well. While adequate against the run he flopped in coverage and was protected from there on.
Toby Gerhart, RB (51st overall pick in 2010): Gerhart seems like the kind of back who needs a heavy workload to really show what he is capable of, as it wasn’t until Adrian Peterson went down that he really proved what he can do. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get that heavy workload with Peterson on the roster, and Gerhart didn’t do anything in 2012 to suggest that should change.
Chris DeGeare, G (161st overall pick in 2010): When thrust into the starting lineup in 2010, DeGeare looked a bit overwhelmed. Found himself on the practice squad last year and is no longer with the team.
Everson Griffen, DE (100th overall pick in 2010): Nearly a positive. Griffen struggled to find much of a role (or playing time) in his first two years before being worked into the lineup more in 2012. He hadn’t really justified it until a fine end to the year, but could be an ascending player if he can keep it up.
Joe Webb, QB (199th overall pick in 2010): One of those potential high reward picks that the team hasn’t lost much from trying to develop. Webb is a great athlete, but his inability to get a handle on the mental side of playing quarterback means the Vikings would perhaps be better off finding other ways to take advantage of his talents.
Mickey Shuler, TE (214th overall pick in 2010): The Vikings wanted to store him on their practice squad, but the Dolphins stole him away. Still, they eventually got their man and put him on their practice squad last November.
Ryan D’Imperio, FB (237th pick overall in 2010): Had a chance to be in the mix to replace Jim Kleinsasser but was deemed (and proved) replaceable after being waived before the start of the year.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Tyrell Johnson, S (43rd overall pick in 2008): It’s always worrying when the more a player plays, the worse he seems to get. That was the case with Johnson, who now finds himself a free agent after four largely disappointing years in Minnesota.
Asher Allen, CB (86th overall pick in 2009): In just 329 snaps in coverage in 2011, Asher earned a -12.5 coverage grade. That was after he scored a -10.6 coverage grade the year before. A third-round pick, more was expected from Allen. A lot more.
Chris Cook, CB (34th overall pick in 2010): For all his talent you’d hope for more production out of a high second-round draft pick. Not produced well enough when on the field to justify some of his problems off it.
Nate Triplett, LB (167th overall pick in 2010): Not often the Vikings completely whiff on a pick, but Triplett is that rare instance of them giving up on a player within months of drafting him.
-1.0: What a waste!
Kudos to Minnesota, there was no exceptional wasting of picks…
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
…nor did the scouts/coaches really get it wrong in such a way to set the franchise back a step.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
There were no Russell/Leaf hybrids to pick from.
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