Sorry for the late post on this, kids. I'll leave the poll open until noon or so tomorrow to give everyone an opportunity to vote--Ted
As our draft moves into the third round, it seems to be taking on more of a popularity contest than a draft, but that's okay. If it had been me picking, I would've gone Carl Eller and Bobby Bell one and two, but there were a multitude of options and combinations in the first two picks.
I'm not sure that we'll be able to say that about round three when it's all said and done, as there is one name that sticks out above all others. That said, there are some quality players the Vikings have taken in round three, and there might be a sleeper pick in here. But, it's not up to me to decide, it's up to you, the great community that is the Daily Norseman. So without further delay, let's get to our third round choices.
Fran Tarkenton, QB, 1961: Unlike rounds one and two, where there were several guys that you could make a compelling argument for, you're really going to have to put your salesman's hat on to talk me out of picking Fran Tarkenton. When he retired he held every major passing record in NFL history, is far and away the best quarterback in team history, and was the first Vikings player that was elected to the Hall of Fame. When you watch old highlights, he never had the strongest arm, wasn't physically imposing, and didn't throw the prettiest spiral, but by God he got the ball there, and he was the original scrambling quarterback. He could keep a play alive for 30 seconds until somebody got open. For those of you too young to be able to see Tark and the rest of the Purple People Eaters play, I truly feel bad for you, because they were something special to watch, and Tarkenton was the catalyst.
Tim Irwin, T, 1981: Irwin was a steady presence on the offensive line for over a decade. He started at RT from 1982-1993, and in that whole time he only missed 3 games--and that was due to the players strike of 1987 that saw replacement players play those three games. Irwin was very workmanlike, and for those of you that didn't ever see him play, think David Dixon as a tackle. I wouldn't call him dominant, but he was good, and when you add in his longevity and durability, you have to tip your cap to a quality NFL career.
Alfred Anderson, FB, 1984: Anderson was a pretty decent fullback, back when the fullback was an integral part of the offense. He was a good lead blocker, could get some tough yards between the tackles, and was a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield for a big guy.
Kirk Lowdermilk, C, 1985: Lowdermilk was a pretty good center for the Vikings out of...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...THE Ohio State University, and was also one of the first players to take advantage of the new free agency rules in the early '90's. He signed a deal with the Indianapolis Colts after the 1992 season and finished his career there. Lowdermilk was another in a long line of quality centers that the Vikings have developed over the years, and had a very good career in purple.
Henry Thomas, DT, 1987: Thomas was an exceptional defensive tackle for the Vikings in the late '80's and early '90's, but is kind of the forgotten man between him, Keith Millard, and Chris Doleman. That defensive line was every bit as good as the famed Purple People Eaters were for two or three seasons, generating a fierce pass rush while shutting the door on an opponent's running game. Thomas was the guy that disrupted the middle, drawing interior double teams that allowed Millard and Doleman to roam free. Yet Thomas was a Pro Bowler in his own right, going there in 1991 and '92.
Jake Reed, WR, 1991: When you talk about great receivers in team history, Jake Reed tends to get overlooked, but he shouldn't be. He was the first receiver in team history to have four straight 1,000 yard seasons, but he was always overshadowed by a bigger name opposite him, be it Anthony Carter, Cris Carter, or Randy Moss. Reed had good hands, always seemed to get open when it was needed, and just went about his business and got the job done, week in and week out.
Moe Williams, RB, 1996: Moe was a fan favorite for a lot of years, and seemed to get better as he got older; a late bloomer, if you will. He played five nearly insignificant years, left for Baltimore as a free agent for one, and then came back to Minnesota and played four more. And after starter Michael Bennett kept getting hurt and Onterrio Smith was Whizzinator'ed, he became the defacto feature back in 2003, amassing over 1,300 yards and 8 TD's rushing and receiving.
So, who ya got? are you taking the obvious pick in Tarkenton, or is Henry Thomas a guy you want to build your interior line? Or you going in a different direction?