TODAY'S LOOK BACK: The 40th 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 third (72, 96), fourth (108), fifth (148), sixth (184) and seventh (223) rounds of next week's draft. Today, we move up to the second round to do the same with the 40th overall pick.
Pro Bowlers picked No. 40 since 1994: 2. In 2000, the Broncos selected linebacker Ian Gold. In 2003, the Vikings selected linebacker E.J. Henderson.
Have the Vikings picked No. 40 since 1994?: Yes. In 1994, they took receiver/returner David Palmer. He played seven years, appearing in 84 games with four starts. Henderson, who was taken in 2003, lasted nine years and 98 yards.
Ouch 1: With all due respect to Palmer, who was a good returner, the Vikings could have had guard Larry Allen. He was taken 46th overall en route to reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ouch 2: In 2004, the Patriots took tight end Ben Troupe. He played five years and had 106 catches. Four picks later, the Colts selected Iowa strong safety Bob Sanders. Sanders was a two-time All-Pro and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.
Ouch 3: In 2009, the Patriots selected defensive tackle Ron Brace. Two picks later, the Bills took safety Jairus Byrd. Eleven picks after that, the Eagles took running back LeSean McCoy.
Other highlights/lowlights of the Nos. 72 and 96 picks since 1994:
2001: Cornerback Ken Lucas, who had 24 interceptions over nine years, was a solid pick. Four picks later, the Panthers took defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who became a two-time All-Pro.
2006: The Lions took safety Daniel Bullucks. Twelve picks later, the Packers grabbed receiver Greg Jennings.
2008: A solid second round saw the Saints take Tracy Porter 40th overall. Matt Forte (44), DeSean Jackson (49) and Ray Rice (55) were taken over the next 15 picks.
2011: The Cowboys took linebacker Bruce Carter, who hasn't made a Pro Bowl. Three picks later, the Vikings took tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has been a Pro Bowl MVP.