Draft scouts, coaches and general managers will tell you that, despite teams getting immediate draft grades from national draft types, a draft truly can't be graded until about three years after the fact.
If that is the case, the 2005 draft will go down as one of the worst in the league history. Many teams can view their draft classes as complete frauds and busts, and the Vikings aren't immune with two first-round picks used on Troy Williamson and Erasmus James, and having Marcus Johnson – who has played his way out of starting jobs at two spots – as the only primary contributors from that draft.
Fortunately for the Vikings, they were far from alone. Check out this collections of busts and underachievers and see if you don't agree that the Draft of 2005 is one most teams would like to forget.
Arizona — Let the sucking begin. The Cards had the eighth pick and took CB Antrell Rolle, who has played his way out of the starting lineup and is ideally a nickel back. Third-round CB Eric Green has proved to be a more reliable starter. RB J.J. Arrington (2nd round) has been a bust, LB Darryl Blackstock (3) isn't even with the team and G Elton Brown (4) is a backup.
Atlanta — First-round WR Roddy White has been inconsistent at best, D-linemen Jonathan Babineaux (2) and Chauncey Davis (4) have been nothing special. LB Jordan Beck (3) isn't with the team anymore. The best pick turned out to be fifth-round LB Michael Boley.
Baltimore — First-round WR Mark Clayton has regressed the last couple of years and been a stiff. Adam Terry (2) is a backup right tackle. LB Dan Cody (2) has missed most of the last two seasons with injuries. OL Jason Brown is a journeyman in the making.
Buffalo — With no first-round pick, the Bills have nothing to show. WR Roscoe Parrish (2) was a prime reason wide receiver was again a first-round draft need this year. TE Kevin Everett (3) was nearly paralyzed last year and will never play again. G Doug Preston (4) is a marginal backup at best.
Carolina – First-round S Thomas Davis has been converted to linebacker and has yet to live up to expectations. RB Eric Shelton (2) has remained buried on the depth chart, G Evan Mathis (3) is nothing to brag up and DT Attiyyah Ellison (3) is no longer on the team.
Chicago — RB Cedric Benson (1) has never lived up to his high draft standing. WR Mark Bradley (2) remains a backup. QB Kyle Orton (4) won enough games as a starter, but is still viewed as a bubble player from year to year. The best pickup the Bears made that year was signing Robbie Gould, an undrafted free agent who has out-performed every other rookie from 2005.
Cincinnati — This is why Cincy is always in some kind of trouble. LB David Pollack (1) is done because of neck injuries. LB Odell Thurman (2) has been suspended the last two years due to substance abuse offenses. WR Chris Henry (3) has been cut because he's a thug. That's why they stink.
Cleveland — First-round WR Braylon Edwards blew up last year and showed he was deserving of such high consideration on Draft Day 2005. S Brodney Pool (2) is a solid starter. QB Charlie Frye (3) was given one start in 2007, yanked at halftime and traded within a week to Seattle. Another pickup of the rookie class was undrafted free agent Josh Cribbs, who has become an electrifying kick returner.
Dallas — Not everybody stunk up the joint. LB DeMarcus Ware (1) is a Pro Bowl talent, but DE Marcus Spears has been viewed as marginal at best for a first-round pick. LB Kevin Burnett (2) has never been a full-time starter and has been moved from OLB to ILB in the defense. But RB Marion Barber (4) has become a star and DE Chris Canty (4) has become a starter, giving the Cowboys one of the best drafts in 2005.
Denver — Thanks to their penchant for wild trading, the Broncos had no first-round pick. CB Darrent Williams (2) was killed in a New Year's Eve 2007 shooting. CB Dominique Foxworth (3) has been a nickel back at best, CB Karl Payhah (3) has seen less time and Maurice Clarett (3) has been one of the all-time draft turds.
Detroit — Matt Millen is an idiot. Need proof? WR Mike Williams (1) is out of football. DT Shaun Cody (2) is a marginal backup and S Stanley Wilson (3) has been buried on the depth chart for a team thin at safety.
Green Bay — First-round QB Aaron Rodgers' next start will be his first start. S Nick Collins (2) has been decent, but WR Terrence Murphy (2) is a resident of the "who dat" file. The player with the most starting experience and field time has been LB Brady Poppinga (4), but he's viewed as the weak link of the LB corps.
Houston — DT Travis Johnson (1) finally became a starter last year. RB Vernand Morency (3) was traded and WR Jerome Mathis (4) is buried on the depth chart. The most bang for the buck has come from sixth-round safety C.C. Brown, who has given the team some quality starts the last two years.
Indianapolis — CB Marlin Jackson (1) has been a solid starter, but that's about it. CB Kelvin Hayden (2) is a special teamer, DE Vincent Burns (3) was cut and OL Dylan Gandy (4) was been a multi-position backup
Jacksonville — WR Matt Jones (1) has been an unqualified first-round bust to date and T Khalif Barnes (2) has been sub-par playing left tackle. The best pick of the entire draft was fifth-round safety Gerald Sensabaugh. He has become a starter, while CB Scott Starks (3) has been a career backup.
Kansas City — This year's rage was 2005's minimalist draft team. LB Derrick Johnson (1) has developed into a solid pro, as has punter Dustin Colquitt, but a third-round pick seems a steep price to pay. WR Craphonso Thorpe (4) is mentioned only due his appropriate-sounding first name for the purposes of this story.
Miami — The Dolphins used the No. 2 pick on RB Ronnie Brown, who has been good but not great and subject to injury. The team also got marginal starters out of DE Matt Roth (2) and LB Channing Crowder (3) – which is more than most can say.
Minnesota — Troy Williamson (1) was a bust at the seventh overall pick and DE Erasmus James (1) came with injury red flags and has had three knee surgeries since. OL Marcus Johnson (2) has played his way out of the lineup at two positions. S Dustin Fox (3) never played a down in the regular season with the Vikings and Ciatrick Fason (4) never made much of a splash.
New England — The Pats didn't have many high picks, but got three starters out of their top three picks – G Logan Mankins (1), CB Ellis Hobbs (3) and T Nick Kaczur. Maybe that's why they're so good.
New Orleans – T Jammal Brown (1) has become a good starter, but it's downhill from there. S Josh Bullocks (2) has been a marginal starter, LB Alfred Fincher (3) has been buried on the depth chart and WR Chase Lyman (4) was on the team just one year.
New York Giants — The G-Men didn't have a first-round pick, but did very well. CB Corey Webster (2) has been a full-time starter for two years, DE Justin Tuck (3) has played so well that he was signed to a lucrative extension and RB Brandon Jacobs (4) has become a big-time power back.
New York Jets — The J-Men didn't have a first-round pick either and used their second-round pick on K Mike Nugent, much too high for a kicker. The team got solid backups in CB Justin Miller (2) and DT Sione Pouha (3), but the shining star of the draft has been S Kerry Rhodes (4).
Oakland — The Raiders got a starter out of LB Kirk Morrison (4), but got nothing more than career backups in CBs Fabian Washington (1) and Stanford Routi (2) as well as QB Andrew Walter (3).
Philadelphia — The Eagles hit gold in a year when few did. They got starters in DT Mike Patterson (1) and WR Reggie Brown (2) with their top two picks and, after drafting scuds in LB Matt McCoy (2) and RB Ryan Moats (3), got a part-time starter in S Tim Considine (4) and solid starters in G Todd Herramans (4) and DE Trent Cole (5).
Pittsburgh — Aside from TE Heath Miller (1), the Steelers did very little. CB Bryant McFadden (2) and T Trey Essex (3) have been backups, WR Fred Miller (3) has done nothing and G Chris Kemoeatu (4) has been a career backup.
St. Louis — T Alex Barron (1) has been a marginal right tackle and CB Ron Bartell has been a backup, but the team got a pair of solid starters later – taking S Oshiomogo Atogwe (3) and G Richie Incognito (3).
San Diego — One of the best drafts of all, with superstar LB Shawne Merriman (1), strong DE Luis Castillo (2) and WR Vincent Jackson (3) all making big contributions. Even fourth-round RB Darren Sproles has been effective as a return specialist.
San Francisco — First overall pick QB Alex Smith has been viewed by many as a bust, but the team got three good starters out of the draft – G David Baas (2), RB Frank Gore (3) and G Adam Snyder (4).
Seattle — C Chris Spencer (1) has been a marginal starter and QB David Greene (3) was a bust, but the Seahawks got a steal in LB Lofa Tatupu (2) and a solid starter in LB LeRoy Hill, turning a weakness at linebacker into a strength.
Tampa Bay — Cadillac Williams (1) wasn't a bust at the fifth overall pick, but injuries may have his career in jeopardy. LB Barrett Ruud (2) and TE Alex Smith (3) have been decent starters, but T Chris Colmer (3) and G Dan Beuning (4) have done nothing.
Tennessee — CB Pacman Jones (1) was a great talent, but a bust at No. 6 overall and was traded on draft weekend. The team took two busts at wide receivers in the third round in Courtney Roby and Brandon Jones, but found starters in T Michael Roos (2), WR Roydell Williams (4), T David Stewart (4) and Bo Sciafe (6).
Washington — As per usual, the Redskins only had a couple of picks in the first 120 selections and got a weak starter in CB Carlos Rogers (1), but did get an emerging star in QB Jason Campbell (1).
Three Years Later … Ughh
Viking Update Top Stories
Harris sees maturation in his gameMinnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith isn't expected to play Sunday, so for the second straight year backup Anthony Harris finds himself front and center before a critical late…
Viking Update2:12 PM
VIDEO: Priefer seeks better playMinnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer talks about a homecoming to Jacksonville and his desire to see better play from his special teams.
Viking Update12:45 PM
VIDEO: Shurmur on Jaguars, the playbook, moreMinnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur talks about the Jacksonville defense, the latest setback at center and working through tough times on offense.
Viking Update12:16 PM
Smith misses again; stage set for Harris?As Harrison Smith missed his third practice this week with an ankle injury, it appears safety Anthony Harris could be getting the third start of his career.
Viking Update9:40 AM
Vikings defense poised for challengeThe Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars are both struggling and it may take a big effort from the Vikings defense to get momentum back on their side this season.
Viking Update8:47 AM