VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell and Patrick Donnelly of SportsData, and Ted Carlson of TST Media. They are Twin Cities-based Vikings and NFL experts who crunch numbers, watch video and tell you what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: Successful 20-somethings

Posted by: Ted Carlson Updated: April 21, 2013 - 4:09 PM

Anyone who has purchased a mutual fund has probably come across the warning, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

The phrase – which cautions buyers against picking a fund simply because a successful recent track record – has been playing over in my mind as we approach this week’s NFL draft, for two reasons:

One, Rick Spielman’s crew nailed the 2012 draft. Two, the Vikings have a history of success when picking in the 20-29 range of the NFL draft. I'll elaborate more on that second point.

Over the last 20 years, the Vikings have made 10 selections in the 20’s. Prior to 1993, we need to travel way back to 1978 to find another pick in the 20-29 range so this article will focus in on the more recent past of 1993-2012. Before I further discuss the overall success of those picks, I need to add some context.

Judging the “success” of past NFL draft picks is a subjective process, as the observer must apply his or her opinion on if a player succeeded or not. But after reading a handful of review articles looking at the entire first round, a general breakdown would suggest around a 55% success rate, 30% misses, and 15% complete busts.

One would assume that a more focused analysis of only the bottom one-third of the first round (roughly pick #20 and on) would yield worse results. Thus, for the sake of ease and brevity, I would suggest that the Vikings should be considered league average if around 50% of their recent picks in the 20-29 range were successful. Let’s get to the selections…

2012 (29) – Harrison Smith, S: Early results suggest Smith has the makeup and skills to be a long-time starter with Pro Bowl upside.

2009 (22) – Percy Harvin, WR: Home run despite the red flags and forced trade.

2004 (20) – Kenechi Udeze, DE: Marked down as an unfortunate “miss.” Udeze looked promising in his rookie season, but then ruined his knee in year two and had his career cut short by leukemia.

2001 (27) – Michael Bennett, RB: Made one Pro Bowl and showed why he was a top pick, but injuries, inconsistency and fumbles led the Vikings to let him go after five seasons. Finished with only 3,703 rushing yards over his career.

2000 (26) – Chris Hovan, DT: 77 games and 70 starts over five seasons with the Vikings; 156 games and 149 starts over his 10 years. He was probably overrated during his time here, but he had a solid career.

1999 (29) – Dimitrius Underwood, DE: Let’s not relive this one.

1998 (21) – Randy Moss, WR: Grand slam.

1997 (20) – Dwayne Rudd, LB: Rudd had a few good moments over his four years with the Vikings, but with the 20th overall pick, you always hope to get much more. His career fizzled out at 27.

1995 (24) – Korey Stringer, OT: The big left tackle made 91 starts and one Pro Bowl over the six years before his untimely death from complications related to heat stroke.

1993 (21) – Robert Smith, RB: Two-time Pro Bowler finished his career as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.

Out of those 10, we have clear-cut, no-brainer “hits” in Robert Smith, Stringer, Moss, and Harvin. Hovan is also in the positive column. He arguably wasn't as dynamic as one would hope out of a first-round pick, but his full career of work makes it an overall win. It’s too early to truly make a call on Harrison Smith, but he is a success thus far.

Underwood and Udeze didn’t pan out, nor did Bennett and Rudd despite each having a full season or two where they played well. The positive spin is that Underwood was the only complete “bomb” of the bunch.

In total, I’d say the Vikings have been well above average with their 10 picks in the 20's over the last 20 seasons. Their past performance won’t guarantee future success with the No. 23 and 25 selections this Thursday, but we should be very happy if they come out of this draft with the equivalents of Harvin and Hovan.

  • 0
  • Comments

Be the first to comment

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Philadelphia 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 3rd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Cleveland 3 Top 3rd Inning
Detroit 1
Washington 0 Top 4th Inning
Miami 0
Seattle - F. Hernandez 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Boston - C. Buchholz 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - T. Milone 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 35 2nd Qtr 3:22
Charlotte 33
Indiana 35 2nd Qtr 5:07
Orlando 35
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Dallas 7:00 PM
Memphis
Detroit 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Houston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Miami
Utah 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 7:00 PM
Boston
Toronto 7:00 PM
New York
Golden State 9:30 PM
Denver
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Sacramento
Montreal 1 2nd Prd
Tampa Bay 1
Columbus 1 1st Prd 11:21
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Philadelphia 0 1st Half 33:00
Red Bull New York 0
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT