Friday, April 28, 2017

The best late round draft picks in Minnesota Vikings history

The Vikings have selected some great players in later rounds of the NFL Draft during their 51 years in the league. You don't have to be a first round draft pick to have a great career in the NFL, and these Viking players, some of whom played their entire careers with Minnesota, prove that talent can be found anywhere.

10) Terry Allen, RB, round 9, 1991: Allen rushed for over one thousand yards twice in his three years with the Vikings, and totaled 8,614 yards on the ground in a ten year career with five teams.

9) Brad Johnson, QB, round 9, 1992: Johnson played seven seasons with the Vikes; he made the Pro Bowl with the Redskins and the Buccaneers, also winning the Super Bowl with Tampa in 2002. Dumb Dennis Green and ya-hoo owner Red McCombs made the mistake of trading Johnson for draft picks after the 1998 season and instead held on to washed-up choke artist QB Randall Cunningham (who played in a mere six games the following season before being unceremoniously dumped onto the scrap heap).

8) Jeff Wright, S, round 15, 1971: Wright was a solid safety on the Vikings great defenses and Super Bowl teams from 1973-1977.

7) Milt Sunde, G, round 20, 1964: Sunde played in 147 games, starting 106, in his 11 year Viking career, contributing to the top Viking offenses in several championship years.

6) Stu Voight, TE, round 10, 1970: Voight was a steady tight end during his 11 years and 131 games with the team, contributing during the team's Super Bowl seasons in the mid-'70's.

5) Dave Osborn, RB, round 13, 1965: A tough runner and reliable receiver out of the backfield, Osborn's 4,320 rushing yards rank sixth in team history. He was named to one Pro Bowl during his 11 years with the team.

4) Matt Birk, C, round 6, 1998: Birk played in 146 games and started 123 from 1998-2008, earning six Pro Bowl nods while snapping the ball at center.

3) Steve Jordan, TE, round 7, 1982: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Jordan was a consistent and durable tight end, appearing in 176 games and starting 149 in 13 seasons. He had 498 receptions and scored 28 touchdowns.

2) Carl Lee, CB, round 7, 1983: Selected three times to the Pro Bowl, Lee played in 169 games, starting 144, during 11 seasons with the team. A key player at cornerback on the team's great defenses in the late 1980's, he is the all-time leader in passes defensed with 128, recovered 6 fumbles, and is sixth with 29 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

1) Scott Studwell, MLB, round 9, 1977: Fifth in team history with 201 games played, Studwell started 161 at middle linebacker and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice. He forced 12 fumbles, recovered 16, intercepted 11 passes, had 9 QB sacks, and ranks ninth with 46 tackles-for-loss. Studwell is the best late round draft pick in Vikings history.

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