Photo credit: Minneapolis Star Tribune
It has been a very wild NFL offseason so far and the draft has not even come yet.
Only 18 days left.
Fans can finally see who their favorite teams select, what trades they make and see if their mock drafts are correct.
Coaches and general managers of course put in many hours watching film on prospects, going to pre-draft workouts and interviewing them.
Part of what makes the draft so exciting is that you just never know what you will be getting.
We have seen high draft picks for the Vikings not work out, such as Troy Williamson, Erasmus James and Christian Ponder, but we have also seen later picks pan out such as Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter. Robert Griffith and John Randle did not even get drafted.
One of the Vikings best draft picks in team history was in 1998 when they drafted wide receiver Randy Moss out of Marshall with the 21st overall pick. He wore no.18 by the way until fellow wide receiver Tony Bland was released before the start of the regular season, which made his no.84 available.
Moss was in the running for the Heisman Trophy award and certainly was a top-five talent in the draft, but due to character concerns he fell to no.21 and Vikings coach Dennis Green took the talented playmaker.
He certainly did not disappoint. He had 69 receptions for 1,313 yards and an NFL record 17 touchdowns. In his debut he had four receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns against the Tampa Buccaneers. That defense coached by Tony Dungy by the way had Ronde Barber, Donnie Abraham and John Lynch in the secondary. Moss showed flashes in the preseason, but that game opened people’s eyes that much more.
The Vikings went 15-1 and advanced to the NFC Championship game that season. They also scored 556 points, which was an NFL record at the time. The first ballot Hall of Famer had 587 receptions for 9,316 yards and 92 touchdowns from 1998-2004, 2010 with the Vikings. All are second best to only Cris Carter in team history.
The Vikings already had one of the best receiving duos in the league with Carter and Jake Reed, but Moss was just to good to pass up and it proved to be a great decision.
The Vikings hold the 30th pick in the draft. It is very unlikely they will end up with a player who will be as dominant as Moss was or even close to, but that is fine. Anyone who makes the team better will of course be a good addition. Very good chance they end up taking an offensive lineman. Guards Will Hernandez or Connor Williams could very well end up being the pick. They could also trade down for extra picks. General manager Rick Spielman has always liked acquiring extra picks regardless of which round it is.
We may never again see a rookie perform the way Moss did in 1998 or a wide receiver as good as him either. His ability to outrun and outjump multiple defenders and still come up with big catches was a real treat for fans to watch and a nightmare for opposing teams.