We started this series by taking a look at who the Minnesota Vikings have selected at pick #22 in the past. That list only had one player on it, so there wasn’t a lot of “history” to delve into. We’re now on to the Vikings’ other first-round pick in this year’s draft, #25 overall, and the purple have selected quite a few players here over the years.
The most recent one was, strangely enough, a player that was selected with the pick that the Vikings received by trading away the player we talked about yesterday. In 2013, the Vikings traded receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for their first round selection, which was at #25 overall. With that pick, they addressed the secondary with the selection of Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Rhodes wasn’t officially a starter until his second season with the Vikings, though he did play a big role in the nickel as a rookie. He saw a steady upward trajectory in the early part of his career in Minnesota, and he wound up signing a huge contract extension before the 2017 season to make him one of the highest-paid corners in the league. He responded by being named a first-team All-Pro in that 2017 season, as well as garnering one of his three Pro Bowl selections.
Unfortunately, things dropped off for Rhodes a bit after that and his contract became prohibitive, leading to the Vikings to release him back in March. He has moved on to the Indianapolis Colts. During his career with the Vikings, he had ten interceptions, one of which was the longest interception return for a score in team history, a 100-yard effort against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.
Prior to Rhodes, we have to go back to the year 2000 to find the Vikings’ previous selection at #25. That’s the year they selected Boston College defensive tackle Chris Hovan. Hovan was brought in to, eventually, replace John Randle on the defensive line, and wound up having a solid, if unspectacular, career in purple. He played for the Vikings for five seasons, during which he collected 17 sacks in 77 games along with 192 tackles.
There’s another significant break in the Vikings’ history at #25 here, as we now have to go to 1976 and the selection of Oklahoma State defensive tackle James “Duck” White. White was more of a nose tackle for the Vikings. . .he was only credited with four sacks in his NFL career, though much of that came before sacks were considered an official stat by the league. He did play in 117 games for the purple with 61 starts.
Minnesota selected at #25 overall in the 1975 draft as well, that year tabbing Colorado State defensive end Mark Mullaney with that selection. Mullaney had a very solid career with Minnesota, playing with the team from 1975 to 1987. He has a unique place in NFL history as he was the first player to wear a visor on his helmet, a move he made after suffering an eye injury in 1984. He went to a tinted visor in 1986, making him the first player to wear one of those as well. He is ninth on the Vikings “official” all-time sack list with 45.5 sacks. (Yes, we know he should be much farther down but, again, sacks weren’t an official stat until 1982.)
The final 25th overall selection in Vikings history came in 1974. . .yes, the Vikings selected at #25 three years in a row. . .with the selection of offensive tackle Steve Riley from the University of Southern California. Riley was a fixture at left tackle for the Vikings for much of his career, starting 128 of his 138 career games in Minnesota at the position, including starting every game for the Vikings’ last Super Bowl team in 1976.
That’s a quick look at the Vikings’ history of drafting players with the 25th overall pick, ladies and gentlemen. It’s not a bad track record or anything, I don’t think.