Too Steep a Price? Really?

History suggests that the Vikings may not have found star players with the draft picks they surrendered to get Jared Allen in a trade. The data would indicate that the proven commodity is better.

The debate has begun over whether the Vikings gave up too much to get defensive end Jared Allen. People have fallen on both sides of that argument. Some say the reward for having a proven Pro Bowl talent that, during his four-year career, is second in the NFL in sacks behind only Miami's Jason Taylor. Others say the price is too steep and that a lot of talent can be had with the three picks the Vikings sent to Kansas City.

But how likely is that? Since 2000, the Vikings have had just three first-round picks that have turned into stars in the NFL – Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams and Bryant McKinnie. All three of them were selected with top-10 draft picks. The other first-round selections? Chad Greenway, Troy Williamson, Erasmus James, Kenechi Udeze, Michael Bennett and Chris Hovan. The simple math tells us that finding a gem in the first round is about a one-in-three proposition and much worse if that pick isn't in the top 10.

So what about the third-rounders? In that same time frame, the Vikings have drafted Marcus McCauley, Dustin Fox, Darrion Scott, Nate Burleson, Willie Offord, Eric Kelly and Doug Chapman. Not exactly a who's who in the NFL and, of that group, only McCauley – a rookie last year – is still with the team.

While being a big-time player has its merits, perhaps the push to justify the ability of draft picks is overrated. The Vikings are getting a proven commodity in Allen and are giving up a first-round pick that is anything but certain to be a star player and a pair of third-round picks that may never pan out. Unless you pine for the days of Williamson, Bennett, Fox and Chapman, it may not be that steep of a price to pay.


  • With the acquisition of Allen, the Vikings will shift Ray Edwards from the right side to the left side of the defensive line – making him the Gary Larsen of the new-look version of the Purple People Eaters defensive line.

  • Allen is reaching an important deadline that may have helped the Vikings' decision to invest millions in him. If he remains incident-free through the end of September, he will come "off the books" with the league, according to a published report. Translation? If he were to have an alcohol-related issue come up after September, he would not be subject to a one-year suspension anymore.

  • In the last 14 months, the Vikings have committed $170 million in guaranteed money to land the players they want to make a run for a championship.

  • Don't look now, but Daunte Culpepper may be coming back to the Metrodome … at least when the Green Bay Packers come for a visit. In what looks like a potentially shrewd move by the Packers if Aaron Rodgers stinks up the joint as their new starting QB, the Packers talked with Culpepper Wednesday at their team facility and could end up signing him before the draft to eliminate the need for potentially taking a quarterback early – perhaps even with the 30th pick in the draft.

  • The Raiders used to be the home for wayward boys in the NFL, where players with bad reputations could find a second life in their careers. They have seemingly been replaced by the Cowboys, who struck again Wednesday by completing a deal with Tennessee to get cornerback Pacman Jones – who remains under suspension by the NFL.

  • Mark Anquan Boldin down as the latest NFL wide receiver demanding a trade. Like those that have preceded him, it looks as though the Cardinals are refusing to cut any deals to make it easy for him to step away from the organization.

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