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Two Days to the Draft: Who is the greatest second round pick in Vikings’ history?

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We keep getting closer, folks

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

So, I’m getting to this one a little late in the day, but our series of the greatest Minnesota Vikings’ draft pick in each round continues. We’re down to Round 2, being that we are two days away from the 2018 NFL Draft, and there are some pretty significant names in Vikings’ history to be found here. So, since we’ve delayed long enough already, let’s take a look at who we have.

Matt Blair, LB, Iowa State - Blair was the Vikings’ second-round pick in 1974, and spent all 12 seasons of his NFL career with Minnesota. He’s a member of the Vikings’ Ring of Honor, and made the Pro Bowl for six consecutive seasons (1977 - 1982). As great as he was at linebacker. . .and he was pretty great. . .another big part of his game was his work on special teams, particularly the art of blocking kicks. As of today, he is 3rd in the history of the NFL in blocked kicks with 20.

E.J. Henderson, LB, Maryland - Minnesota grabbed Henderson in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Patrolling the middle for the Vikings for the majority of his nine seasons in Minnesota, Henderson was one of the team’s leaders on the defensive side of the ball. He suffered one of the nastiest injuries you’ll ever see on a Monday night in 2009, and somehow managed to not only get back onto the field, but made it back in time to start the 2010 season opener.

Jim Kleinsasser, TE, North Dakota - Like I was going to leave this guy off the list around this crowd. The pride of Carrington High School, Kleinsasser was selected by the Vikings in the second round in 1999 as a fullback. He was eventually shifted to tight end, and became one of the best blocking tight ends in the history of the franchise. He retired in 2011 after spending his entire 13-year career in Minnesota.

Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma - Loadholt was taken in the second round in 2009, and immediately stepped in as the starting right tackle on a team that went to the NFC Championship Game. A fixture at right tackle for his entire career, Loadholt held the spot down until tearing his Achilles during a preseason game in 2015. He attempted to come back in 2016, but announced his retirement.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame - He’s battled some injury issues over the course of his career, but Rudolph has turned into a very productive tight end since the Vikings drafted him in 2011. He’s the Vikings’ all-time leader in touchdown catches for a tight end, and has been one of the more reliable red zone threats the Vikings have had in recent years.

Orlando Thomas, S, Southwestern Louisiana - Thomas exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 1995, as he led the NFL in interceptions that season with nine. He was named to the All-Pro team that season as well, and remained a steady presence for the team at safety until his final season in 2001. Thomas passed away due to complications from ALS in November of 2014.

Ed White, G, California - White was a second-round pick of the Vikings in 1969. White played for the Vikings for nine seasons, appearing in all four of Minnesota’s Super Bowl matchups. He was named a second-team All-Pro three times as a member of the Vikings (1974 - 1976). He also went to the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons (1975 - 1977), after which the Vikings traded him to the San Diego Chargers.

Sammy White, WR, Grambling State - Sammy White was taken by the Vikings in Round 2 of the 1976 NFL Draft, and made an immediate impact as the NFL’s Rookie of the Year that season. He was an All-Pro that season as well, an honor he also earned in 1977 and 1978. He played his entire 11-year career with the Vikings, and is still fifth in team history in receiving yardage with 6,400. His 50 receiving touchdowns trail only Cris Carter, Randy Moss, and Anthony Carter in franchise history.

I think that’s pretty much everyone that we can put on the short list for second rounders. Tomorrow, we’ll move on to first-round picks, and I think we’re actually going to break that one up into two parts, given that there are so many of them to choose from.

Poll

Who is the greatest second round pick in Minnesota Vikings’ history?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Matt Blair, LB, Iowa State (1974)
    (1027 votes)
  • 3%
    E.J. Henderson, LB, Maryland (2003)
    (83 votes)
  • 20%
    Jim Kleinsasser, TE, North Dakota (1999)
    (462 votes)
  • 2%
    Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma (2009)
    (51 votes)
  • 6%
    Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame (2011)
    (143 votes)
  • 3%
    Orlando Thomas, S, Southwestern Louisiana (1995)
    (71 votes)
  • 8%
    Ed White, G, California (1969)
    (183 votes)
  • 9%
    Sammy White, WR, Grambling State (1976)
    (201 votes)
2221 votes total Vote Now