Minnesota Vikings: Best Second Round Picks in Franchise History
The Minnesota Vikings will be without a first round pick due to the Sam Bradford trade, but they still have the #48 overall pick and could still land a good player at that spot.
Here are the best second rounds picks in Vikings history:
1969: California guard Ed White (39th overall)
Spent his first nine seasons with the Vikings. Made it to three Pro Bowls during his time with them (1975-1977).
Was a member of the Vikings 25th, 40th and 50th anniversary teams. One of 11 to play in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances.
1974: Iowa State linebacker Matt Blair (51st overall)
Spent entire 12-year career with the Vikings and was a six-time Pro Bowler (1977-1982). He is a member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and was also named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of All-time in 2010. Played in two of the Vikings four Super Bowls.
Was also a very good special teams player. He blocked 20 kicks (Vikings record). His 1,452 career tackles are only second to Scott Studwell in Vikings history (1,981).
1976: Grambling State wide receiver Sammy White (54th overall)
Spent entire 12-year career with the Vikings. Three-time Pro Bowler (1976, 1977 and 1983). NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was also named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of All-time.
In 128 career games, he had 393 receptions for 6,400 yards and 50 touchdowns.
1995: Southwestern Louisiana safety Orlando Thomas (42nd overall)
Spent all seven seasons with the Vikings. Started in 87 out of 98 career games. Led the NFL with nine interceptions during his rookie year, earning him All-Pro honors. Intercepted five passes the next season. Thomas later struggled with injuries during his final three seasons in the league.
Thomas passed away from ALS in 2014.
1999: North Dakota tight end Jim Kleinsasser (44th overall)
Spent entire 13-career with the Vikings. Was one of the best blocking tight ends in the league throughout his career. Was moved to fullback during the middle of his rookie season before being moved back to tight end in 2002.
2003: Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson (40th overall)
Spent entire nine-year career with the Vikings. Started in 105 out of 125 games played. Had over 100 tackles in four seasons.
Broke his left femur during the 12th game of the season in 2009, but made his only Pro Bowl appearance the very next year. He and Chad Greenway formed one of the best linebacking duos in the league.
2006: Texas cornerback Cedric Griffin (48th overall)
Spent first six of his seasons with the Vikings. Started in 54 out of 62 during his first four seasons. Recorded over 90 tackles during those seasons. Physical corner and looked like he was going to be a long-term starter and was given a five-year/$25 million extension after the 2008 season. Griffin though tore his left ACL during overtime of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. He returned during week three the very next season, but tore his right ACL two weeks later.
Griffin was released after the 2011 season.
2009: Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt (54th overall)
Spent entire career with the Vikings. Was the starting right tackle from 2009-2015, starting in all 89 games he played in.
Missed all of the 2015 season due to a torn Achilles. Retired before training camp in 2016.
2011: Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph (43rd overall)
Has started in 72 out of 80 games played. Pro Bowl MVP in 2012. Rudolph set career highs this past season with 83 catches and 840 yards.
He will among those who will be counted on in 2017 to help improve the struggling offense.
2015: UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks (45th overall)
Has started in 25 out of 29 games played and has been among the reasons for the Vikings improvement on defense the past two years. Was the team’s best linebacker last season and made one of the Vikings biggest plays of the season when he returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown in week one.
Kendricks has a bright future ahead and certainly has the talent to make it to multiple Pro Bowls.
Who is the best on this list? Have to go with Matt Blair. Number two? Ed White. All of these players though played critical roles in the Vikings success over the years. Two of them are still on the team. Jim Kleinsasser was especially underrated. He only had two seasons with more than 30 receptions, but his blocking was a huge help.
In 2011, the Vikings drafted Christian Ponder in the first round, but got a good player in the second round that year in Rudolph. There are no guarantees that they would have found a good player in the first round. The Bradford trade was well worth the trade. Teddy Bridgewater may never be the same again and Bradford had a good year. This year he will have more familiarity with his teammates and will also have better protection. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will also keep improving, which will help as well.