Who Was the Vikings’ Best Draft Pick From 2009-2011?


Nov 24, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (71) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Vikings and Packers tied 26-26. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Going back and evaluating past drafts is always a lot of fun, and that’s just what supernerd football site PFF has been doing the last few days.

On Wednesday, PFF released their rewind of the Vikings’ drafts from 2009 through 2011, and decided that the Vikings made only one truly great pick in that time from a value perspective.

And one truly horrible pick.

The sole great draft pick? Right tackle Phil Loadholt.

“Since the Vikings selected Loadholt with the 54th overall pick in 2009 many tackles have come into the league and failed. Loadholt? Well he’s arguably become the premier right tackle in the league. More than solid in pass protection he gets about as much push in the run game as any of his peers,” PFF says.

The site rates Percy Harvin and Brandon Fusco as good selections. Jamarca Sanford, Everson Griffen and Kyle Rudolph are seen as solid picks.

I submit that Rudolph and Griffen have a chance to become great picks if they both fully blossom in the next few years.

Now to the bad side of things.

PFF figures the Vikings made no really unspeakably awful selections from 2009-2011. They do rate several picks as somewhat weak, including Asher Allen (remember him?), Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart, Nathan Triplett and Ross Homan.

Some will argue with the Gerhart pick being weak, but remember we’re talking value here. Had Gerhart been taken in the fifth round he would be viewed as a solid value pick. But he was drafted with the 51st overall pick, too high for a guy who ended up being only a role player.

The Gerhart selection remains one of the most puzzling in recent Vikings history, and that’s nothing against Toby. He was what he was, and he did what he did. He never should have been taken as high as he was taken. Brad Childress totally blew that one.

And the worst Vikings pick during that three year stretch?

Christian Ponder.

“When you pick up a quarterback in the first round it’s likely to either be a big win or a big loss. Ponder? Well, he hasn’t lived up to his draft slot in three years. Poor as a rookie, he’s shown minimal improvement on gameday. The most complimentary thing that can be said is that he has shown flashes of solid play, only to bounce back to form with a horror show the week after. Surrounded by a great line and rushing attack, he and his receivers really haven’t helped each other,” says PFF.

Hard to argue.

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