TODAY'S LOOK BACK: The 108th overall pick.
Looking back on previous NFL drafts for a better understanding of the crapshoot nature of this business is oh so much easier and more fun to do than pretending to know how the next wave of draft picks will perform. We've already looked back through the past 20 drafts for some perspective on the picks the Vikings hold in the fifth (148), sixth (184) and seventh (223) rounds of next week's draft. Today, we move up to the fourth round to do the same with the 108th overall pick.
Pro Bowlers picked No. 108 since 1994: 3. In 2002, the Jaguars picked quarterback David Garrard. In 2006, the Saints hit a grand slam with the massive, powerful guard Jahri Evans, who went from D-II Bloomsberg to five-time All-Pro (and counting). In 2007, the Dolphins took defensive tackle Paul Soliai.
Have the Vikings picked No. 108 since 1994?: No.
Ouch 1: In 2003, the Broncos selected running back Quentin Griffin. He lasted three years and never made a Pro Bowl. Twelve picks later, the Patriots took cornerback Asante Samuel. He has played 11 years, won three All-Pro honors and lead the NFL in interceptions twice.
Ouch 2: In 1999, the Chiefs took receiver Larry Parker. He played two seasons and caught 18 passes. One pick later, the Steelers took defensive end Aaron Smith. He played 13 seasons, made the Pro Bowl and won two Super Bowls.
Ouch 3: In 2010, the Raiders took receiver Jacoby Ford. He has 57 catches in four seasons. Twelve picks later, the Bengals took defensive tackle Geno Atkins. He's already at two first-team All-Pro honors. The Raiders also could have had tight end Aaron Hernandez, who went 113th overall to the Patriots. But there some definite, um, character red flags to consider.
Other highlights/lowlights of the No. 108 pick since 1994:
1997: Marcus Robinson wasn't a bad pick by the Bears at 108 in 1997. He played 10 years, including three with the Vikings, and finished with 325 catches and 43 touchdowns.
2004: This was a solid spring for fourth-round picks. The Jets took receiver Jerricho Cotchery at No. 108. He's still playing down in Carolina and has 437 catches. Meanwhile, at No. 110, the Bears took cornerback Nathan Vasher, a Pro Bowl player with one All-Pro team. And at 126, the Chiefs took a chance on Jared Allen. Allen has made four All-Pro teams, three with the Vikings, and, of course, is still active in Chicago.