The 2018 NFL Draft continues to get closer and closer, ladies and gentlemen, as in just three days the NFL will descend upon Dallas for this year’s selection meeting. We’ve been going through who the greatest player that the Minnesota Vikings have selected in each round of the draft. We’ve gone through Round Four, Five, Six, and Seven thus far, and now we’re into Round 3.
I have a strange feeling that one particular player is going to be the runaway winner in this one. I won’t say who, but rather just move on to the list of the best.
Tim Irwin, OT, Tennessee - Irwin was selected by the Vikings in the third round in 1981, and had the unenviable task of taking over for Hall of Famer Ron Yary at the start of the 1982 season. Irwin was a fixture at right tackle on the Vikings’ offensive line for 12 years, starting every regular season game in 11 of those seasons.
Al Noga, DE, Hawai’i - NOGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! NOGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Noga was the Vikings’ third round selection in the 1988 NFL Draft, and took over as the left defensive end in 1989. In his first season as a starter, he had 11.5 sacks as part of a Vikings’ defense that put up 71 as a group that season. He never again reached double-digit sacks, but was still a very good player on an outstanding Minnesota defensive line.
Jake Reed, WR, Grambling State - Reed was drafted in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft with one of the picks that the Vikings received from the Dallas Cowboys in the trade for He Who Shall Not Be Named. (Yes, the Vikings actually got some picks back in that trade, too.) Reed played for the Vikings for nine seasons, and then returned for a tenth season in 2001. He was one of the more prolific receivers in team history, putting together four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 1994 to 1997. He’s currently fourth in team history in receiving yardage and seventh in touchdowns scored.
Fran Tarkenton, QB, Georgia - Tarkenton was the first third-round pick in Vikings’ history as a part of their class of 1961. Unquestionably the greatest quarterback to ever put on a Vikings’ uniform, there was a time when Tarkenton held every meaningful NFL passing record. Given that his era was not exactly one where teams aired it out, the numbers he put up were impressive. In fact, despite retiring in 1978, Tarkenton is still #11 in NFL history in passing yardage and tied for sixth all-time in passing touchdowns.
Henry Thomas, DT, Louisiana State - Thomas was taken by the Vikings in the third round of the 1987 Draft, and immediately made an impact. Known for his off-kilter defensive stance, he racked up 56 sacks during his eight years as a member of the Vikings, and was a part of one of the best defensive lines the Vikings have fielded since the Purple People Eaters broke up. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1991 and 1992.
That’s the third round, folks! Tomorrow we’ll take a look at past second round selections for the Vikings as we get closer to the 2018 NFL Draft.
Who was the greatest third round pick in Minnesota Vikings history?
This poll is closed
Tim Irwin, OT, Tennessee (1981)
Al Noga, DE, Hawai’i (1988)
Jake Reed, WR, Grambling State (1991)
Fran Tarkenton, QB, Georgia (1961)
Henry Thomas, DT, Louisiana State (1987)