Minnesota Vikings: 15 best first-round draft picks of all time

Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings have added some amazing players in the first round of the NFL Draft over the course of franchise history. Here are the 15 best!

Building a strong NFL franchise can be a massive challenge. A team like the Minnesota Vikings needs to not only acquire the best possible talent possible on their roster, but be able to use their players to the best of their ability and develop them within the team.

There is no surefire way to get the best players on your franchise. Spending a lot of money in free agency or using a top draft pick on a player is no guarantee that they will fit into the team’s system used or have similar production to what they had in previous years.

Still, there is always a lot of intrigue around the top college prospects each year. In particular, the first round of the NFL Draft is where players have the highest chance of being a success as a professional football player.

Let’s take a look at 15 of the best players who were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Vikings and rank them starting at No. 15, where a recent selection of the franchise resides!

Odds are that if this list was compiled only a few years later, Harrison Smith would be much higher. However, since being the 29th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, he has been an impact player in the Vikings’ secondary.

Arriving in Minnesota from Notre Dame, Smith joined a defensive unit known for allowing a ton of yards and many points.

Putting the versatile safety in the position to make plays provided an immediate boost to the secondary that was only helped when he began playing under Mike Zimmer.

Entering the 2018 NFL season, Smith has already been a part of the Pro Bowl three times and was All-Pro First Team selection in 2017. He also won the Dwight Stephenson Award from Pro Football Focus for being their highest-graded player during the regular season.

Appearing on this list at only 29-years-old is an amazing accomplishment and shows how significant the presence of Smith has been for the team since his debut in 2012 and how it will be for many years going forward.

– Adam Carlson