The 2013 NFL Draft is just 5 days away, and in honor of that we’re going to look at the 5 best draft picks in Vikings history. NFL.com ran a feature story earlier this month that looked at each NFL team’s top 5 picks in the pre-Super Bowl era (this takes Fran Tarkenton out of the picture, for example), and what’s written in this blog entry is what was included in the Vikings section of the NFL.com story.
Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry.
5. LB Scott Studwell (9th round, 250th overall in 1977)
A linebacker for 14 seasons, Studwell is the standard by which all other Vikings ‘backers are measured. He is the franchise career leader in combined tackles (1,981), defensive tackles (1,928), single-season tackles (230 – 1981) and single-game tackles (24 at Detroit 11/17/85). One of the most enduring figures in Vikings history, Studwell is in his fourth decade with the franchise and in 2013 enters his 22nd season working in the front office.
4. WR Randy Moss (1st round, 21st overall in 1998)
Moss put together one of the best debut seasons of all-time, hauling in a NFL rookie single-season record 17 touchdowns and averaging 19.0 yards per catch for a Vikings team that went 15-1 and scored a then-NFL record 556 points. An elite vertical threat throughout his 16-year career, Moss set the NFL single-season receiving record in 2007 with 23 scores and currently ranks second in NFL history behind only Jerry Rice with 156 touchdown receptions.
3. OT Ron Yary (1st round, 1st overall in 1968)
In 1968 Yary became the first offensive lineman to be drafted first overall in NFL history, and the Hall of Famer’s blend of size, speed and strength helped usher in a new era of offensive line play. He assumed a starting role midway through the 1969 season and was a fixture there for the rest of his career, missing only two games during his career due to injury. Yary was named an All-Pro in six consecutive seasons, played in seven Pro Bowls and started in four Super Bowls.
2. DT Alan Page (1st round, 15th overall in 1967)
A Hall of Famer (1988) and member of the vaunted Purple People Eaters, Page was a mainstay in a dominant Vikings defense that became legendary and led the franchise to four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Page was named to the Pro Bowl nine times in 12 seasons with the Vikings, and in 1971 he became the first defensive player to earn NFL MVP honors. Page played in 236 straight games and had a knack for the impact play, recording 148.5 sacks, 28 blocked kicks and 23 fumble recoveries.
1. RB Adrian Peterson (1st round, 7th overall in 2007)
Peterson hit the ground running as a rookie by leading the NFC in rushing yards (1,341), setting a new NFL single-game rushing record of 296 yards, and helping the Vikings set a new team rushing record (2,634) yards). He earned Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 and was named MVP of the Pro Bowl. In six seasons with the Vikings, Peterson has authored five of the franchise’s top six rushing seasons and in 2012 he became just the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards while going on to earn NFL MVP honors.
*Not included on this list but worth mentioning is quarterback Fran Tarkenton, a third-round selection in 1961 (pre Super Bowl era).
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Alan Page, Randy Moss, Ron Yary, Scott Studwell
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