The 3 Draft Droughts for the Vikings

4 Vikings Have Exceeded Expectations in 2022
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The 2024 NFL Draft is 89 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings, for now, have nine picks. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is close to a full arsenal, conveniently in a draft where he might need a quarterback.

Vikings fans await the first offseason domino, which could either be Justin Jefferson’s contract extension, the free-agency decisions on Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, or Harrison Smith’s retirement (or lack thereof).

The 3 Draft Droughts for the Vikings

But when Adofo-Mensah gets to the draft war room — and fans watch live from Detroit or on their sofas — these are three Vikings draft droughts to keep in mind.

The EDGE Rusher Drought

The 3 Draft
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The Vikings haven’t selected an EDGE rusher in Rounds 1 or 2 of the NFL Draft since 2005.

Cue Jesse Pinkman — how do they keep getting away with this? Easy. Sign Jared Allen, draft Everson Griffen late-ish, and discover Danielle Hunter in Round 3 nine years ago.

Minnesota has been lucky — and resourceful — with acquiring EDGE rushers not from the 1st or 2nd Round of the draft. The last time they invested early-round draft capital in an EDGE rusher was in 2005 when the team scooped Erasmus James from Wisconsin in Round 1.

The 2005 NFL Draft was terrible for the Vikings — it was the same event used to draft Troy Williamson — and incidentally, was the final time to date the franchise drafted a pass rusher early. With Danielle Hunter’s future uncertain as of January 27th, the Vikings could use their 1st-Rounder at this position.

The Vikings also have a 2nd-Rounder this year, unlike last.

The WR in Rounds 2-3 Drought

Currently Have 3
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Minnesota hasn’t used Round 2 or 3 draft capital on a wide receiver since 2007.

These are wideouts drafted by the Vikings since then:

  • Jordan Addison, (R1, 2023)
  • Jalen Nailor (R6, 2022)
  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette (R5, 2021)
  • Justin Jefferson (R1, 2020)
  • K.J. Osborn (R5, 2020)
  • Dillon Mitchell (R7, 2019)
  • Olabisi Johnson (R7, 2019)
  • Rodney Adams (R5, 2017)
  • Stacy Coley (R7, 2017)
  • Laquon Treadwell (R1, 2016)
  • Moritz Boehringer (R6, 2016)
  • Stefon Diggs (R5, 2015)
  • Cordarrelle Patterson (R1, 2013)
  • Jarius Wright (R4, 2012)
  • Greg Childs (R4, 2012)
  • Stephen Burton (R7, 2011)
  • Joe Webb (R6, 2010)
  • Percy Harvin (R1, 2009)
  • Jaymar Johnson (R6, 2008)

For whatever reason, Rick Spielman hated spending Round 2-3 draft stock on wide receivers — which is strange because those rounds, especially the 2nd, have been a WR gravy train as of late.

The last Round 2-3 wide receiver chosen by the Vikings was Sidney Rice in 2007.

The QB in Round 1 Drought

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Mainly because Kirk Cousins has manned the QB1 duty for six years, the Vikings haven’t used the 1st Round for a quarterback since 2014.

That was, of course, Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville, the current QB2 for the Detroit Lions, who will retire at season’s end. Minnesota had high hopes for Bridgewater, but he suffered a gruesome leg injury just before the start of the 2016 season. No one knew it at the time, but that was basically a wrap on Bridgewater’s Vikings career.

This year, Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency, meaning the long-awaited Round 1 quarterback drought could be over. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board early.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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