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What If. . .the Vikings Hadn't Drafted Adrian Peterson?

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Don Banks has a pretty interesting article up at SI.com today, and it takes a look at something so horrific that many Viking fans may have nightmares simply thinking about it.  What if another team had taken Adrian Peterson in the 2007 NFL Draft before the Vikings' pick came up at #7?

In that 2007 draft, these were the teams that drafted ahead of the Beloved Purple and who they selected

1) Oakland Raiders - JaMarcus Russell, QB, Louisiana State
2) Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
3) Cleveland Browns - Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
5) Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
6) Washington Redskins - LaRon Landry, S, Louisiana State

This past Sunday's game against the Browns was AP's eighth game against those six teams, and the Vikings have gone 5-3 in those contests.

As Banks points out, one could reasonably argue that all of those six selections were justifiable at the time based on the needs of those teams.  Then again, the Vikings didn't have a tremendous "need" at the running back position in 2007 either, what with Chester Taylor coming off of a 1,200+ yard season.

Obviously, none of the players listed above is as good as Adrian Peterson. . .which is understandable, considering that #28 is the best player in the NFL. . .but while Johnson and Thomas have both become outstanding NFL players, the other four guys on that list really haven't done a whole heck of a lot.

But as sort of a topic of discussion or debate for today, a couple of questions to ponder. . .

1) Would the Vikings be in the situation they're in now if they had stuck with Chester Taylor and not drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007?

2) Had AP been selected by one of the six teams ahead of the Vikings in 2007, would his impact have been as great as it has been in Minnesota?

Discussion starts. . .now!