Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


20-year perspective: Vikings' 223rd overall pick

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, Lions, NFL draft, Packers, Super Bowl, Pat Williams Updated: May 1, 2014 - 11:13 AM

TODAY'S LOOK BACK: The 223rd overall pick.

Looking back on previous NFL drafts is oh so much clearer than looking ahead to the next one. So today, we'll go back through the past 20 drafts to give some historical perspective on the 223rd overall pick, which the Vikings own in the seventh round of next week's draft. We'll work our way up to the first round with a daily look at each round.

Pro Bowlers picked No. 223 since 1994: None.

Have the Vikings picked No. 223 since 1994?: Yes. In 1996, they took Duke tackle Jon Merrill. He never played for the Vikings or in the NFL.

Ouch 1: In 1998, the Cowboys took running back Tarik Smith. He never played a game. When the draft was over, the Rams signed linebacker London Fletcher as a rookie free agent from Division III John Carroll in Cleveland. Fletcher played 256 games over 17 seasons for three teams before retiring after last season.

Ouch 2: In 2002, the Cardinals took tight end Mike Banks. He played 18 games with no starts. Nineteen picks later, the Steelers signed defensive end Brett Keisel. And if that weren't enough, the Steelers also signed linebacker James Harrison as a rookie free agent. Keisel and Harrison helped the Steelers win a couple of Super Bowls. Harrison was the league's defensive player of the year in 2008.

Ouch 3: In 2003, the Ravens took tight end Trent Smith. He played five games. After the draft, the Chargers signed three rookie free agents -- tight end Antonio Gates, guard Kris Dielman and receiver Kassim Osgood -- who have combined on 15 Pro Bowl appearances.

Here's a year-by-year look back at the No. 223 pick:

2013: The Pick: DT Nicholas Williams, Steelers. Could Have Had: Free-agent TE Joseph Fauria, Lions.

2012: The Pick: OLB Travis Lewis, Lions. Could Have Had: Free-agent LB Vontaze Burfict, Bengals.

2011: The Pick: FB Shane Bannon, Chiefs. Could Have Had: LB Malcolm Smith (No. 242), Seahawks.

2010: The Pick: CB R.J. Stanford, Panthers. Could Have Had: Free-agent WR Victor Cruz, Giants.

2009: The Pick: S Troy Nolan, Texans. Also took: Free-agent RB Arian Foster, Texans.

2008: The Pick: QB Alex Brink, Texans. Could Have Had: Free-agent FB Mike Tolbert, Chargers.

2007: The Pick: OT Mike Otto, Titans. Could Have Had: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (No. 250), Giants.

2006: The Pick: QB D.J. Shockley, Falcons. Could Have Had: Free-agent WR Miles Auston, Cowboys.

2005: The Pick: WR Marcus Maxwell, 49ers. Could Have Had: NT Jay Ratliff (No. 224), Cowboys; QB Matt Cassel (No. 230), Patriots.

2004: The Pick: CB Jacques Reeves, Cowboys. Could Have Had: C Scott Wells (No. 251), Packers; free-agent WR Wes Welker.

2003: The Pick: TE Trent Smith, Ravens. Could Have Had: Free-agent QB Tony Romo, Cowboys; free-agent TE Antonio Gates, Chargers; free-agent G Kris Dielman, Chargers; free-agent WR Kassim Osgood, Chargers.

2002: The Pick: TE Mike Banks, Cardinals. Could Have Had: DE Brett Keisel (No. 242), Steelers; Free-agent LB James Harrison.

2001: The Pick: SS Than Merrill, Buccaneers. Could Have Had: Free-agent LB Antonio Pierce, Redskins.

2000: The Pick: DE James Cotton, Bears. Could Have Had: Free-agent C Shaun O'Hara, Browns.

1999: The Pick: OT Ryan Young, Jets. Could Have Had: Free-agent TE Jermaine Wiggins, Jets.

1998: The Pick: RB Tarik Smith, Cowboys. Could Have Had: Free-agent LB London Fletcher, Rams;  free-agent C Jeff Saturday, Colts.

1997: The Pick: WR Mike Adams, Steelers. Could Have Had: Free-agent NT Pat Williams, Bills; free-agent RB Priest Holmes, Ravens.

1996: The Pick: OT Jon Merrill, Vikings. Could Have Had: Free-agent K Adam Vinatieri, Patriots.

1995: The Pick: LB Jessie Cox, Colts. Could Have Had: Free-agent WR Wayne Chrebet, Jets.

1994: The Pick: None. There were only 222 picks. Could Have Had: Free-agent QB Kurt Warner, Packers; Free-agent S Robert Griffith, Vikings.

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Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 77 3rd Qtr 1:42
Orlando 63
Charlotte 79 3rd Qtr 5:21
Philadelphia 56
Brooklyn 45 2nd Qtr 0:52
Cleveland 53
Washington 54 2nd Qtr 1:06
Miami 55
Minnesota 48 3rd Qtr
Boston 53
Toronto 52 3rd Qtr
Detroit 52
Chicago 28 2nd Qtr 9:21
Memphis 26
Portland 19 2nd Qtr 10:20
San Antonio 26
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Denver
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 1 2nd Prd :30
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 0 2nd Prd 16:37
Ottawa 2
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd 14:18
Detroit 1
Boston 0 1st Prd 2:47
Winnipeg 1
Dallas 8:00 PM
Calgary
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 32 2nd Half 11:51
Alabama 49
Case Western Reserve 64 2nd Half 2:37
Bucknell 79
Niagara 37 2nd Half 11:58
Buffalo 56
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 52 2nd Half 4:52
Central Mich 88
Northern Ill 38 2nd Half 3:27
Dartmouth 44
North Florida 65 2nd Half 6:02
Florida A&M 48
Hiwassee 63 2nd Half 3:11
Gardner-Webb 86
Tennessee St 47 2nd Half 7:58
Hampton 53
NC A&T 43 2nd Half 7:56
Kent State 48
Central Penn College 56 2nd Half 6:31
Liberty 74
Eastern Ky 55 2nd Half 7:26
Miami-Florida 32
Northern Ky 69 2nd Half 5:17
Morehead State 50
Northern Ariz 46 2nd Half 4:56
Norfolk State 68
MD-Eastern Shore 38 2nd Half 3:13
Old Dominion 52
St Marys-CA 41 2nd Half 9:27
St Johns 39
Clemson 37 2nd Half 7:24
South Carolina 56
Tenn Tech 48 2nd Half 3:28
Tennessee 52
Washington-MD 44 2nd Half 1:22
William & Mary 84
Bethune-Cookman 24 2nd Half
Mercer 33
Furman 34 2nd Half
Fla Gulf Coast 38
South Dakota St 36 2nd Half 14:26
CS-Bakersfield 33
Milligan 19 1st Half 4:02
Lamar 33
LSU-Alexandria 23 1st Half 4:20
ULM 27
Southern Utah 14 1st Half 5:05
Loyola-Chicago 28
Chattanooga 14 1st Half 5:45
Middle Tennessee 20
Seattle 15 1st Half 7:52
Minnesota 28
Lipscomb 25 1st Half 0:51
Princeton 40
Winthrop 30 1st Half 4:28
SE Louisiana 31
Dickinson State 11 1st Half 6:11
North Dakota 19
New Orleans 16 1st Half 5:11
Southern Ill 22
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Creighton
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Denver
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Marquette
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 39 2nd Half 4:33
Virginia 45
McNeese State 37 2nd Half 8:31
Rice 35
McMurry 47 2nd Half 2:15
Houston Baptist 65
NJIT 55 2nd Half 3:13
Seton Hall 71
(6) North Carolina 55 2nd Half 7:39
Maine 29
Lafayette 56 2nd Half 4:56
Stony Brook 52
Siena 60 2nd Half 1:49
Binghamton 48
Longwood 37 2nd Half 8:02
Clemson 56
Savannah State 37 2nd Half 7:12
Florida State 73
(19) Syracuse 66 2nd Half 4:02
(9) Baylor 63
Buffalo 57 2nd Half 4:11
Manhattan 48
Canisius 42 2nd Half 0:35
Michigan 79
Davidson 56 2nd Half 3:57
NC State 68
Northern Ky 58 2nd Half 4:00
Delaware 54
Saint Louis 32 2nd Half
Austin Peay 39
(25) DePaul 33 2nd Half 18:18
(2) Connecticut 58
Ohio U 38 2nd Half 16:30
La Salle 44
Florida Atlantic 27 1st Half 3:51
Long Beach St 33
Miami-Florida 6 1st Half 15:19
Tulane 8
Miss Valley St 19 1st Half 2:07
Memphis 26
Ark-Pine Bluff 25 2nd Half
UAB 38
Bowling Green 23 1st Half 4:38
Illinois State 15
Arkansas State 24 1st Half 5:59
Missouri State 23
ULM 10 1st Half 4:54
Wichita State 27
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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