One Great Draft Is All It Takes

What Was Once a Draft Joke for Vikings Is Now a Roster Need
Roger Goodell

The NFL Draft is not just two short weeks away from starting. Every fan base around the league has been analyzing and discussing who their favorite team should draft. After all, the NFL Draft can alter the future of a franchise. The crazy part is that one great draft is all it takes to create the future fans desire.

When you look back on the history of the draft, there is always a player that alters history. Sometimes this is a single first-round pick. Other times, it is an unnoticed player on day three who rises to stardom. And sometimes, it is a team hitting on multiple players in one draft.

For Vikings fans, we often sit back and bemoan that we have never found our Patrick Mahomes. Of course, it is frustrating that we have yet to hit on a QB. Although, the Vikings do have a QB that is at least serviceable, which is better than where some teams are at.

However, the draft is a pivotal moment for a franchise. The Chiefs drafting Mahomes, the Patriots drafting Brady, and the Saints’ 2017 draft all played a major factor in the outcomes of their futures. Obviously, Brady being drafted changed the league for more than two decades. While Mahomes is early in his career making an impact.

Oct 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Although, I want to focus on what the Saints did in 2017. Sure, they got lucky they hit on every draft pick that year. However, it is something that the Vikings need to do now.

Why the Vikings Should Emulate the Saints 2017 Draft

The Saints, before their 2017 draft, were much like the Vikings today — a mediocre team. Even though the Saints had Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, they were simply mediocre.

From 2014 to 2016, the Saints posted three 7-9 seasons. They were an ok team with a really good quarterback. However, they just couldn’t string together enough wins to make the playoffs. Although, all that was about to change after the 2017 NFL Draft.

In one draft, with quite a bit of luck, the Saints added key pieces to a struggling team. Those additions:

  • Marson Lattimore
  • Ryan Ramczyk
  • Marcus Williams
  • Alvin Kamara
  • Trey Hendrickson
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We do not need to go into details about each player. We Vikings fans are very familiar with every single player on this list. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that these players played a pivotal role in turning the franchise around.

After the 2017 draft, the Saints utilized the rookie contract period of all of these guys to make a run into the postseason for four straight years. It seemed like each of those years ended in heartbreaking losses. Although, Vikings fans really enjoyed that!

That stretch of play is exactly what the Vikings need now. We have a quarterback who can play but is on a veteran quarterback deal. However, if the Vikings can find a stroke of luck in the 2022 draft, there is the possibility of making a serious playoff run.

It is important to keep in mind that we need a lot of luck. But it shows that one great draft is all it takes to turn a mediocre franchise into a powerhouse.

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