We take this analysis by position and list how many players have been drafted by the Vikings at that position in the first round, followed by what this writer envisions as the possibilities in this year's draft.
QB (2 previous first-rounders taken by the Vikings) — Not this year.
RB (9) — They've done it when they were seemingly already stocked in the past (i.e. Michael Bennett when they had Robert Smith; Darrin Nelson when they had Ted Brown). If Cedric Benson or Carnell Williams is best player on board, they could take him if they don't think their current cast can handle the load. Only D.J. Dozier and Leo Hayden were total busts.
WR (3) — Randy Moss, Gene Washington and Jack Snow. Only Moss could be considered a star among those names. This year, there are two possibilities at No. 7 (Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards) and two more at No. 18 (Mark Clayton and Troy Williamson).
TE (0) — And zero chance of a first-rounder this year.
OL (10) — Nobody worthy at No. 7 this year. Second round would probably be the earliest they'd consider a guard.
DL (16) — History suggests they will look seriously at their options here with either of their first-round picks. I'd compare Maryland's Shawne Merriman to Chris Doleman (4th overall in 1985); I'd compare Marcus Spears to Kevin Williams (9th in 2003). Pro Football Weekly's Draft Preview on Spears says, "Thickly built, Reggie White-type power defensive end with enough size, enough strength and quickness to be a dominant five-technique. … Has the physical ability to develop into a Pro Bowl talent — a cross between Vikings DT Kevin Williams and Patriots DL Richard Seymour." In light of interest in Aaron Kampman, perhaps this is what defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell wants up front.
LB (3) — Texas' Derrick Johnson fits but could remind the Vikings too much of Dwayne Rudd.
DB (2) — Already having much cap room tied up in Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, the No. 7 pick almost certainly won't be spent here. Could the 18th be a possibility for a safety like Thomas Davis? Maybe, but there will probably be defensive end options there that would also intrigue the Vikings if they got a wide receiver at No. 7. Antrel Rolle and Adam Jones are not clearly better than other prospects being considered at No. 7.
Can Draft History Teach Us About 2005?
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