With the first pick in the Vikings all time draft, the readers of the Daily Norseman select:
Adrian Peterson, running back, Oklahoma 35%
Runners up were WR Randy Moss, 20%, DT Alan Page with 19%, and DE Carl Eller with 6%.
Really? I think Peterson will go down as one of the best backs in history when it's all said and done, but personally, I would have gone with either Page or Eller. I'm of the belief that Peterson's career to this point doesn't warrant being selected, but that could very well be different by the time his career is over with. But hey, AP isn't a bad choice at all, and we can address other needs in the upcoming rounds.
In trying to compile this list, it was kind of a fun walk down memory lane. There were some guys that I wanted to put in but didn't. They had good careers, but weren't good enough to be seriously considered. MLB Jeff Siemon was a good player, but was largely anonymous among the Purple People Eaters. RB Ted Brown had a few good years, and I probably should have put Robert Smith on the list of candidates. But Smith really struggled with injuries earlier in his career, and even though he's still the team's all time leading rusher I just didn't see him leaping past Peterson or Chuck Foreman.
RB Tommy Mason was the first pick in team history, but was just okay in his 10 year career. RB Darrin Nelson had a long, versatile career, but I'm always going to hold The Drop against him, and he was never as good as Chuck Foreman. Sorry, I'm human. Keith Millard and Korey Stringer were guys that had their careers both cut short, one because of injury, and one because of, well, you know. RIP, Big Man. I'm always going to wonder what might have been with both of those guys. I mean seriously, when you look at the talent that was on both the offensive and defensive lines in the late 80's and early 90's, (Zimmerman, McDaniel, Stringer, Millard, Doleman, John Randle), it rivaled what the 70's teams had, at least for a couple seasons. Crazy.
Speaking of crazy, there were some monumental busts taken in the first round as well. 1971 pick RB Leo Hayden piled up yards at Ohio State but never put it together in the NFL, lasting only a couple years. DE's James 'Duck' White and Randy Holloway were drafted two years apart in the mid 1970's to replace Jim Marshall and Carl Eller. Neither one lasted more than 5 years.
But the three biggest first round busts in team history are D.J. Dozier, Demetrius Underwood, and Troy Williamson. Dozier was a bust simply because it seemed like he fell into the Vikings laps as late as he did back in the 1987 draft, and seemed like a steal. Very ballyhooed coming out of Penn State, he just never lived up to the hype. And I can't remember for sure, but I think he had a couple of knee injuries as well. WR Troy Williamson was just the opposite. He was drafted WAY too high, and like our fearless leader likes to say, he couldn't catch the clap if he was in a Vietnamese bordello.
But at least they played and contributed minimally. Underwood didn't even do that. He was drafted, showed up in Mankato wearing BDU's, practiced once, and left the team. He was later diagnosed with severe bi-polar disorder and only played a handful of games in the NFL, none with the Vikings. I know he was with Dallas for a couple of seasons, but after they released him, I never really heard what happened to him.
From here, we'll move on to round two, which will be posted later today.