The successes (and mostly failures) of No. 22

What is the 22nd pick in the draft worth? In the last decade it has produced seven trades and not a whole lot of great players. John Holler looks at the history of the Vikings' 22nd pick, and it isn't encouraging.

The Vikings are expected to enter the 2009 draft with the 22nd pick, but if history is any indication, there are a couple of things that might play into the selection. First, it might be a quarterback and, second, it may not end up being selected by the Vikings.

Over the last decade, the 22nd pick has been made by a team that acquired the pick in a trade each of the last three years, five of the last six seasons and seven of the last 10. As far as draft picks go, having No. 22 means it likely wasn't yours at the end of the season when the draft order was announced.

The last two picks have something in common. Dallas made the 22nd pick last year taking running back Felix Jones. That pick was acquired from Cleveland during the 2007 draft. The Browns made a trade with Dallas that year to move into the 22nd spot at take quarterback Brady Quinn.

In 2006, the 22nd pick got a three-way bounce, having been traded by the Broncos to the Redskins to the 49ers – who eventually took linebacker Manny Lawson of North Carolina State. While Lawson has held down a starting job, many are speculating that the Niners are looking for a better pass rusher from his outside spot.

The 22nd pick was traded in both 2003 and 2004 to select quarterbacks – neither of whom exactly became fan favorites. In 2003, the Bears took Rex Grossman, who was widely reviled by Bears fans in his six years with the team. In 2004, the Bills took a chance on cocky Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman, who never panned out as a bona fide NFL quarterback.

Pick No. 22 was also traded in 2001 and 1999. In 2001, the Giants selected Will Allen from Syracuse on a pick they received in a trade with Indianapolis. In 1999, the Cowboys cashed in one of the two first-round picks they gave Seattle for Joey Galloway and the Seahawks used the pick to take defensive end Lamar King out of small-college Saginaw Valley State.

Over the last decade, only three picks have been made at No. 22 that actually belonged to the team that was assigned that pick at the end of the previous season. In 2005, the Ravens drafted wide receiver Mark Clayton out of Oklahoma. While a decent receiver, he has never blossomed into a go-to guy in his four years in the league. In 2003, the Jets took defensive lineman Bryan Thomas from Alabama-Birmingham. In 2000, Seattle used the 22nd pick to take offensive tackle Chris McIntosh.

Perhaps of interest only to Vikings fans is visiting 11 years back to the 22nd pick of the draft. That year, the Patriots took safety Tebucky Jones from Syracuse. What made that pick the most noteworthy was who it followed – current Patriots star receiver Randy Moss by the Vikings at No. 21.

To look at the selections at pick No. 22 over the last decade, it can be argued that the players produced there haven't been great. Jones and Quinn are both players with outstanding potential and have a good chance of being very solid NFL players. Allen has had a lengthy career and has been a consistent NFL starter through most of it. Grossman and Losman have been abject failures that were hoped to be the quarterback of the future but turned out to be busts.

If the recent history of the position has shown us anything it is that the 22nd pick is far from a guarantee for success and that quarterbacks to fall to that stage of the first round are risky propositions. Perhaps that is why so many teams have opted to trade out of that spot and why the Vikings might seriously consider continuing that trend. For whatever reason, the pick has been a hotbed for trades and the Vikings will likely be hearing from teams looking to get back into the round with multiple picks or from a team at the bottom of the first round looking to move up a few spots to grab someone they covet.


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