The Minnesota Vikings, after their third disappointing seasons in four years, once again find themselves drafting in the top ten. This year, they have the 8th overall pick, one that historically has produced some pretty good players for the NFL. And I figured with eight days until the draft, what better time than to take a historical look at the eighth overall pick in the draft, and see how those picks have fared for the NFL as a whole, and the Vikings in particular.
For the Vikings, they've only picked in the eighth slot twice in their team history. The first time was in 1965, and they selected WR Jack Snow, from Notre Dame. Snow never played a down for Minnesota, as he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams shortly afterwards, and spent 11 years with them. He had a respectable career with the Rams, finishing with over 6,000 career receiving yards and 45 TD's.
The only other time the Vikings had the number eight overall pick was in 1967, when they had three first rounders--the second, eighth, and 15th selections. Running back Clint Jones went second overall, and with the eighth pick the Vikings took another offensive player, WR Gene Washington. Washington had a short career with the Vikings, playing from only 1969-1972 (he played one more year in Denver before he retired), but was a back to back All Pro in 1969-70. For his career, he had 182 catches, over 3,000 yards receiving, and 26 touchdowns.
Oh, the guy they picked 15th in that draft? Alan Page. Maybe you've heard of him.
In NFL draft history, there's been some serious talent mined with the eighth pick. There have been five guys that have gone on to the NFL Hall of Fame:
Jim Parker--Considered by many to be the greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game, he was a tackle for the Baltimore Colts from 1957-1967. Oh, his college? THE Ohio State, baby!!
Larry Csonka--A running back for the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants (and a brief stint in the WFL), Csonka was one of the toughest between the tackles runners in NFL history. To this day, I can't stand him for running through the Vikings defense in Super Bowl VIII. Man, Paul Krause probably still wakes up at night in a cold sweat with visions of Csonka knocking him on his ass. Over and over again. Damn it...
Ronnie Lott--Lott is considered by many the best defensive back to ever play the game. He played primarily for the San Francisco 49ers, and started out as a cornerback. He was an All Pro there, but then moves to safety...and became an All Pro at that position, too.
Mike Munchak--Munchak was the second consecutive #8 overall pick to eventually go to the Hall Of Fame, as he was drafted in that slot the year after Ronnie Lott. Munchak was one of the most dominant linemen to ever play, both a Houston Oiler/Tennessee Titan, blocking for guys like Eddie George and Steve McNair. He transitioned to the coaching ranks, and was the Titans head coach for three seasons, getting unexpectedly fired at the end of last season.
Willie Roaf--Roaf was another dominant offensive lineman while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Ne[FUCK THOSE GUYS]nts. In his 13 year career, he was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times, and All Pro nine times. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012.
And in recent history, there's been some decent to pretty good guys taken eighth, to include Joey Galloway (O-H), Plaxico 'Bang Bang' Burress, Roy Wiliams, Antrell Rolle, Donte Whitner (I-O), and DeAngelo Hall. The last five players picked at eight overall are:
2013: Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis
2012: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami
2011: Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee
2010: Rolando McClain, LB, Oakland...who just retired from the NFL.
2009: Eugene Monroe, T, Jacksonville
Going back to 1980, there have only been two QB's selected with the eighth pick, Tannehill and Locker. Although QB appears to be high on the list of needs for the Vikings, we don't really know what direction they'll go until they're on the clock. It looks like most experts are starting to coalesce around one guy, but the only way we'll know is when the Vikings actually, you know, draft a guy.
We'll find out in eight short days.