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

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NFL. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Gene Washington
Wide Receiver Michigan State (1967)

Despite being one of three first-round selections by the Vikings in the 1967 NFL Draft, Gene Washington didn’t see too much of the field during his rookie season. He did average 29.5 yards per catch in 1967, but he only hauled in 13 passes that year.

Washington eventually found his role in Minnesota’s offense. It resulted in him earning an All-Pro First-Team selection and his first-career Pro Bowl invite in 1969 following a season that saw him finish with 39 catches for 821 yards and nine touchdowns.

The young receiver was voted to the Pro Bowl again in 1970 after he caught 44 passes for 702 yards and four scores.

He only ended up playing with the Vikings for six seasons from 1967 to 1972. During that time period he caught a total of 172 balls for 3,087 yards and 23 touchdowns. Washington spent his final year in the NFL with the Denver Broncos in 1973.

– Adam Patrick

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