Minnesota Vikings All Time Draft, Round 4

Before we get to the candidates for round four, let's look and see who we have selected as a community in our first three rounds:

1) Adrian Peterson, RB

2) Jim Kleinsasser, TE

3) Fran Tarkenton, QB

This is a very Denny Green-ish draft so far, with offense taken in every round. The first two picks were a bit of a surprise to me, though. Not at the player that was selected--they are/were both great players in their own right, but based more on the other players they were up against. Tarkenton was a no brainer in the third round, but had some solid competition as well.

And if you thought you might get some relief in the fourth round, well you'd be wrong. There aren't any obvious names that stand out, but there is depth and quality. So without any further delay, your choices are:

Roy Winston, LB, 1962: One of the original Purple People Eaters, Winston was a mainstay at linebacker for the Vikings for over a decade. The linebacking corps for the Vikings was a bit overlooked during the heyday of Eller, Page, Marshall, and Larson, but Winston, along with Wally Hilgenberg and Lonnie Warwick, were one of the best LB units in the NFL in the mid to late 60's. Winston was a sure tackler a big hitter, and although he never made All-Pro, he played solid, fundamental football. Think Ben Leber, circa 2008-09, for a decade. That's a solid football player.

Paul Flatley, WR, 1963: Flatley was the only real receiving threat that a young Fran Tarkenton had to throw to during those early expansion days, and went over 50 receptions (remember, this was a 14 game season) three times in his first four seasons, was named Rookie of the Year by the UPI (for you kids that don't remember, there used to be two main press agencies, AP and UPI) and made All Pro in 1966. Flatley was a sure handed receiver that was the first receiving threat in team history.

Najee Mustafaa, CB, 1987: Before he converted to Islam his name was Reggie Rutland, and as Rutland he had one of the biggest interceptions in team history. It was during the 1987 divisional playoff game against San Francisco--the Anthony Carter game. Mustafaa/Rutland picked Joe Montana and returned it for a TD, giving the Vikings a big lead, and sending Montana to the bench. Mustafaa was a serviceable cornerback, picking off 10 passes in just over 4 years as a part time starter.

Roy Barker, DE, 1992: Although Barker didn't record double digit sacks in a season until after he left the Vikings via free agency, Barker was the bookend DE with Chris Doleman, and was a very productive player alongside Thomas, John Randle, and Doleman. He wasn't the sack specialist that the other three were, but he was good against the run and complemented the rest of the defensive line well.

Brian Williams, CB, 2002: Williams was one of the better CB's in recent team history, and fairly under rated in his time as a Viking. He matched up opposite Antoine Winfield his last two years in Minnesota, and I maintain that the Williams-Winfield CN tandem was the best the Vikings have had in almost 10 years. He averaged almost 4 picks a year in his 4 years as a Viking before leaving for Jacksonville via free agency, and has had a good career.

Mewelde Moore, RB, 2004: Moore fought injuries seemingly his entire time in Minnesota, but when he was on the field, he made plays. For me, his most memorable game was in his rookie season at Houston, where he had over 90 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving in a wild game. It was a tantalizing taste of what he could do, as he averaged almost 6 yards a carry as a runner that year, but for some reason he always seemed to be in Mike Tice's doghouse. He never really caught on as a Viking, and left for Pittsburgh via free agency in 2008.

Ray Edwards, DE, 2006: Say what you want about Ray's attitude, but when he was in uniform he was a very good defensive end that had back to back 8 sack seasons his last two years in Minnesota. Edwards is very good in run support, and although he left under somewhat acrimonious terms, he was still a productive player in his four years as a Viking.

So there you have it. It's not a star studded list like first three rounds, but there are some good players here, and several of them make a compelling case for being the 4th round draft pick.

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