Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vikings gain extra draft picks, look to mine mid-round gold again

We know the Vikings got two compensatory fourth-round draft picks Monday. That's good news for a team that needs all the draft picks it can get to rebuild a roster that's gone 9-23 the past two seasons.

But what's even better news is that the Vikings have drafted well in the fourth round of late. As ESPN 1500 writer Tom Pelissero tweeted on Monday.

Vikings 4th-round picks since 2006: Ray Edwards, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Christian Ballard. You can get players there.

True dat, Tommy boy, and the Vikings success goes back a bit further than 2006. Some other fourth-round picks of yore:

2004 – Mewelde Moore (RB): Shifty scatback could be nearing the end of the road. But he has a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers to show for it.

2003 – Onterrio Smith (RB): The SOD had a drug problem. Still, he was productive when he played.

2002 – Brian Williams (CB): Always a solid starter. Had 19 interceptions during a nine-year career.

2000 – Tyrone Carter (S): Never starter quality, but provided excellent depth at safety, was an asset on special teams and remained gainfully employed in the NFL until he was 34. Not many players can say that.

Of course, the Vikings also picked Ciatrick Fason, Nat Dorsey, Shawn Worthen and Antonio Wilson in the fourth round during the 2000-2005 time period, so it hasn't all been roses for the club in this round.

But more often than not, Minnesota has been able to find productive players in the fourth round of the NFL draft when many other teams haven't been able to. And as general manager Rick Spielman tries to build the Vikings into a contender from the wreckage of a 3-13 season in 2011, he must unearth a few more hidden gems in the fourth round.


  1. I've never understood compensatory picks. How does that happen? Why'd the Vikings get two in the 4th round? Something about losing free agents or something, right?

    1. They have some way of figuring it out. I'm not sure of the particulars. But because the Vikings lost Sidney Rice, Ray Edwards and (chuckle) Tarvaris Jackson in free agency and only picked up Remi Ayodele, they were awarded a couple of extra fourth rounders.

    2. I got un-lazy enough to follow your link and it looks like we lost 4 (Ben Leber and the others you mentioned) and gained 2 (Charlie Johnson [meh] and Ayodele). So is it just straight math? 4 lost - 2 gained = 2 extra picks? I'm guessing they must value the players somehow (performance... games started?) I'm glad the team has extra picks, though. It'll be fun to see who they get. A slew of rookie DBs to compete with the slew of mediocre FA pickups? Ha.

      And hey, how come Seattle was smart enough to replace Tarvaris Jackson after just one year? We had to suffer a lot more jump passes than Seahawk fans did. (sigh) I hope Flynn fails for them too, the jerks.

  2. hey! Zack Bowman! not too shabby.

    1. Peter:

      I had forgotten Leber was signed away as well. I watched Tarvaris play in a few Seattle games last year. He was the same as always. He got hurt a lot. Inaccurate on his mid-range and deep throws. Occasionally he would make an elite QB-type play that made you wonder why he couldn't do it more consistently. He's a good backup to have on your team, but can't be your starter.