While wondering if the 2012 draft will ever actually take place or if it's just a fictitious carrot dangling just out of reach so that we all keep blabbing on and on and on and on about the NFL ...
The Vikings' second-round pick this year is the 35th overall selection. The expectations for that player will -- and should -- be high. While he won't be expected to earn multiple All-Pro honors like the No. 3 overall pick will, the 35th overall pick should be expected to start and compete for Pro Bowls.
Looking at the past 10 NFL drafts, 38 second-round picks that were available at No. 35 have gone on to Pro Bowl seasons. That includes two Vikings -- E.J. Henderson, 40th overall, 2003; and Sidney Rice, 44th overall, 2007 -- and last year's No. 35 pick, Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton.
The Vikings need receivers and cornerbacks. Everyone is upset that they haven't thrown a gazillion dollars at those two positions in free agency. But that doesn't mean the fight is over when it comes to finding elite talent at those two positions. In the second round alone, receivers Anquan Boldin, Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings, Sidney Rice and DeSean Jackson all have been drafted in the second round with picks lower than 48th overall. As for corners, Charles Tillman was the 35th overall pick in 2003.
Here's a look at each of the past 10 players to go 35th overall:
2002: Kalimba Edwards, DE, Lions.
Could have had: Andre Gurode, C, Cowboys (37th).
2003: Charles Tillman, CB, Bears.
Could have had: Doesn't matter. Peanut's a Pro Bowler and still playing at a high level.
2004: Igor Olshansky, DT, Chargers.
Could have had: Bob Sanders, S, Colts (44th).
2005: Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles.
Could have had: Nick Collins, S, Packers (51st), Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers (61st).
2006: Rocky McIntosh, LB, Redskins.
Could have had: Greg Jennings, WR, Packers (52nd), Devin Hester, WR-KR, Bears (57th); Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars (60th).
2007: Arron Sears, G, Buccaneers.
Could have had: LaMarr Woodley, LB, Steelers (46th).
2008: Brandon Flowers, CB, Chiefs.
Could have had: Matt Forte, RB, Bears (44th); DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles (49th); Ray Rice, RB, Ravens (55th).
2009: James Laurinaitis, LB, Rams.
Could have had: LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles (53rd).
2010: Brian Price, DT, Buccaneers.
Could have had: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots (42nd).
2011: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals.
Could have had: Doesn't matter, but the Packers did get WR-KR Randall Cobb with the 64th pick.