Hey, everyone. My apologies for things being a little slow as of late. Every once in a while you just need to take a bit of a break, you know? But, I’ll try to get back into the swing of things here now that the season has officially come to an end for the Minnesota Vikings.
As we’ve already determined, the Vikings will pick at #14 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft when it rolls around on the last weekend in April. The Vikings haven’t picked at #14 overall very many times in their history. In fact, it’s only happened twice and, oddly enough, it happened in back-to-back years. You might not remember. . .even if you’re my age. . .because neither of the players picked was all that notable in Vikings’ history.
Well, not for any positive reasons, anyway.
The first player taken at #14 overall by the Vikings was Auburn defensive end Gerald Robinson, who the Vikings took at that spot in the 1986 NFL Draft. The Vikings were looking for help with the pass rush, and Robinson was the leading sackmaster in Auburn history, a distinction that he still holds today. Unfortunately for the Vikings, that didn’t translate over to the pro game as much as the team would have liked. Robinson lasted just two seasons in Minnesota and, in that time, collected just 3.5 sacks. He played in just four games in his second season, and the team cut ties with him after that.
Robinson wound up spending eight seasons in the NFL, two with the San Diego Chargers and four with the Los Angeles Rams. He finished his career with 19 quarterback sacks.
The Vikings found themselves at #14 overall again in 1987. This time, they looked for help on the offensive side of the ball, and were convinced that they had found it in Penn State running back D.J. Dozier. Dozier was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1986 and scored the winning touchdown for the Nittany Lions as they defeated the Miami Hurricanes for the national championship that year. He was the third running back off the board in the 1987 NFL Draft.
Well, to say that things didn’t work out for Dozier with the Vikings would be an understatement, to say the least. In four years with the Vikings, he started just 11 games and managed to amass just 643 rushing yards. He scored seven touchdowns, five of which came in his rookie season. He finished his career with the Detroit Lions, and then actually went on to Major League Baseball, playing one year for the New York Mets.
To expand on this, one could make the argument that had Dozier worked out better for the Vikings, then the trade for He Who Shall Not Be Named doesn’t take place during the 1989 season and. . .well, you know. So the pick wasn’t just a flop, it was a flop that led to a disaster, which is even worse.
The Vikings have not picked at #14 overall since then. They would have picked at #14 overall in 2017, but that was the pick that was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford, so the Vikings didn’t make that selection.
So, whoever the Vikings select at #14 overall this coming April, they have a pretty easy road to being the best 14th overall pick in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. . .provided that Rick Spielman doesn’t trade out of the spot first.