3. Everson Griffen – DE
Fourth Round, 2010
Everson Griffen started his Vikings career like most rookies do, on special teams. Even though he saw limited action at defensive end early in his time with Minnesota, coaches knew they had something special in No. 97.
As the Vikings gradually got him involved as a situational pass rusher, it became obvious that the team needed to find more ways to get him on the field. Griffen quickly became a fan favorite and within a matter of a few years, he became one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.
Nine years into his career in Minnesota, he has a total of 66.5 sacks and countless big plays in the opposing offensive backfields.
Coming out of USC everyone knew how talented he was. It was his off-the-field questions that led him sliding into the fourth round on draft day.
While Griffen was away from the Vikings for a bit in 2018 to concentrate on his mental health, overall he has put many of his off-the-field concerns to rest.
Griffen could retire tomorrow and already be considered one of the best defensive ends to ever play for Minnesota. But at 31-years-old, something tells me he still has a handful of sacks up his sleeve.
2. Stefon Diggs – WR
Fifth Round, 2015
A total of 19 wide receivers were drafted before Stefon Diggs in the 2015 NFL Draft (19!). How is that for motivation?
Many questioned his size (6-feet, 195 pounds) and if he could hold his own against bigger powerful cornerbacks in the NFL. Others questioned his speed and route running, which is laughable as he is now one of the best route runners in the entire league.
Diggs’ rookie season with the Vikings started off slow as he was inactive for the first chunk of the year. However, when he got his chance he didn’t look back.
He put up big game after big game and it became very clear that Minnesota had themselves a special talent in Diggs. It didn’t take long for comparisons to Antonio Brown to start rolling in, and they were warranted.
Over the past four years, Diggs has been one of the best receivers in the NFL, continuously drawing the attention of opposing defenses. Along with Adam Thielen, he has given the Vikings a pair of the best receivers in the league (both over 1,000 yards and 100 catches in 2018).
Oh, and let’s not forget about that little thing he was involved in that we like to call the “Minneapolis Miracle“.