The NFL Draft fast approaches, and the Minnesota Vikings currently own picks 22 and 25 in the first round. There is a lot of talent that will be on the board when the Vikings go on the clock, and the Vikes need to make the most of this opportunity. Pick 25 is based on their standing at the end of the 2019 season, and of course, pick 22 was acquired from Buffalo as part of the blockbuster Stefon Diggs trade that will piss me off for eternity.
But I digress.
With these two first round picks, the Vikings have the opportunity to address holes in the roster they haven’t been able to fill in free agency thus far, so I thought it might be interesting to go back and see what players were selected at spots 22 and 25 from some recent drafts, and see how those picks turned out.
Come with me on journey of mind, body, and spirit. Or...you know, just keep reading. We’ll start at 2014, Mike Zimmer’s first year with the Vikings, and finish with last year’s draft.
Vikings selected LB Anthony Barr 9th overall and QB Teddy Bridgewater 32nd overall.
22. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A and M (Cleveland Browns): Yeah, bust. Whew. Might be one of the biggest first round busts in NFL history when it’s all said and done. The Browns traded up from 25, striking a deal with the Eagles to move up and take Manziel, thanks to the advice a homeless guy gave Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (no, seriously, that really happened). Ironically, after the draft, Jay Glazer reported the Vikings were also trying to swing a trade with the Eagles so they could take Manziel, but the Browns came in with a better offer. The Vikings ended up trading with Seattle to get back into the end of the first round and selected Bridgewater.
25: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU (San Diego Chargers): Verrett looked like he was going to be a stud when he hit the NFL. He became a starter in 2015, and went to the Pro Bowl. But the injury bug hit him in 2016, and now his career is more ‘what could have been’ than anything else. He tore his ACL and went on IR a month into the season. During the offseason the Chargers exercised their fifth year option on him, anyway, rightly thinking they still had a really good player. He had another knee injury in 2017 and missed all but two games, and then tore his Achilles tendon the first day of training camp in 2018 and missed the whole season. He signed with the 49ers prior to 2019, but once again was put on IR in October, this time with an ankle injury.
Vikings select Trae Waynes 11th overall.
22. Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky (Pittsburgh Steelers): Dupree became a starter in his third year, played in 91% of all Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps last year, and had 13 sacks and 51 overall pressures last season as well. In March, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him.
25. Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington (Carolina Panthers): Thompson has evolved into kind of the hybrid safety-linebacker ‘big nickel’ role Jayron Kearse occupied on the Vikings roster in recent years. He’s started 60 of 71 games, had 91 tackles last year, and in December the Panthers signed him to a 4 year, $54.2 million extension.
Vikings select WR Laquon Treadwell 23rd overall.
22. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Washington Redskins): Both Treadwell and Doctson are considered busts. After spending three years in Washington, the Redskins released him and ironically, he signed with the Vikings. Then went on IR-eligible to return before the ink dried on his contract, but managed to appear in one game with the Vikes. His impact was felt immediately for the Vikings, catching no passes for zero yards. This past offseason he took his talents to
South Beach the swamps of New Jersey and is now with the New York Jets.
25. Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL) (Pittsburgh Steelers): After getting three interceptions in his rookie season, he’s only had one more since. He started 32 of 58 games for the Steelers from 2016-2019, and was a starter for in 2017. The Steelers declined his fifth year option prior to the the 2019 season, and during free agency he signed a one year, $1 million ‘prove it’ deal with the Bears, so we’ll see him twice in 2020. Because it’s against the Vikings, he’ll probably prove it twice, especially at Soldier Field, and his performance in those two games will net him a 6 year, $120 million extension.
He will be terrible in the other 14 games.
The Vikings had no first round selection due to the Sam Bradford trade the previous year.
/remembers the ‘Sam Bradford Game’ to open 2017 on Monday Night Football against the Saints
22. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri (Miami Dolphins): He’s been with the Dolphins for three seasons, has 3.5 career sacks, and has played in 41 of 48 games, starting just eight, which seems underwhelming for a first round pick. It’s still too early to say he’s a bust, but he’s looking to buy a house in that neighborhood.
25. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan (Cleveland Browns): I sports hate Jabril Peppers, so let’s just get that out of the way. He played for That Team Up North, and I thought he was one of the more overrated players coming out of college in recent NFL history. That said, his second season in Cleveland was pretty decent, but then he was traded to the New York Giants as part of that blockbuster Odell Beckham, Jr., trade. He’s had some minor dings two of the three years he’s been in the NFL that’s kept him out of a few games, but he’s started all 40 games he’s been active for at safety, and is one of the better punt returners in the NFL.
In 2019, his overall PFF defensive rating was 66.6, making Jabrill Peppers the Sports Antichrist.
Vikings select CB Mike Hughes with the 30th overall pick.
22. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (Tennessee Titans): Evans became a full time starter for Tennessee this past season, but his overall PFF grade was 47.7. It looks like his big weakness is defending the pass, but has a pretty good grade against the run.
25. Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina (Baltimore Ravens): Hurst had a decent season in Baltimore as a backup last year, catching 30 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. But he was behind Mark Andrews, who has turned into a Pro Bowler and one of Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets. This past off-season the Ravens traded him and a fourth round pick to Atlanta and got a second and fifth round pick in return. Hurst is currently listed at the top of the depth chart in Atlanta, and could have a pretty decent year with the Falcons.
Vikings select C Garrett Bradbury with the 18th overall pick.
22. Andre Dillard, T, Washington State (Philadelphia Eagles): DIllard appeared in all 16 games and started four for the Eagles. It’s still hard to say how his career will pan out, but he held his own when he was in the lineup, and we’ll see what the future holds.
25. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (Baltimore Ravens): Brown had a decent rookie season for the run-heavy Ravens. He appeared in 14 games, started 11, and had 584 yards receiving and seven TD’s. He also had 126 yards receiving in the Ravens playoff loss to Tennessee.
As you can see, it’s a mixed bag in terms of results, but there will be good players available. With the weird virtual draft format this year, the normal pre-draft visits, Pro Days, and everything else that goes into talent evaluation has been cancelled due to the current pandemic. The Vikings are going to really need to do their homework and find two guys that can contribute right away.
They can do it, but will they?