We've already touched on one draft pick that had no impact on the Minnesota Vikings during the time he was in town, and in today's installment, we have another one. If anyone in your family is been a long-time Viking fan and you've never heard them wax poetic about running back Leo Hayden, there's a reason for that.
That reason is the fact that Leo Hayden did nothing. . .literally. . .for the Minnesota Vikings. And he did only slightly more than nothing for any other team in the National Football League.
The Vikings selected Hayden in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft with the 24th overall selection out of THE. . .dramatic pause. . .Ohio State University. The Vikings had hoped that Hayden could help to elevate a rushing offense that had only averaged 3.2 yards per carry in the 1970 season, led by Dave Osborn's 621 yards rushing. However, in the 1971 season, Hayden appeared in seven games for the Vikings, and never carried the ball once. It's awfully tough to supplement the running game when you're not allowed, for whatever reason, to touch the football.
Hayden didn't have any impact on the Vikings in 1972, either. While it may be hard to help the Vikings out when you're not running the football, it's even harder to help the Vikings out when you're in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals. But, after lasting only one season in Minnesota, that's exactly where Hayden found himself in 1972. It was in that season where Hayden compiled all of the rushing statistics that he would compile in his NFL career. Those numbers?
Four games. . .eight carries. . .eleven yards (an average of 1.4 yards/carry) and one touchdown.
As my good friend Lil' Sis might say. . ."that's it and that's all."
Hayden spent the 1973 season with the Cardinals as well, returning five kickoffs for a total of 98 yards. After the 1973 season, Hayden was out of the National Football League.
I'm no expert or anything, but that's the sort of thing that qualifies as "bad draft pick" material to me.
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