15 biggest Minnesota Vikings draft busts of all-time

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Christian Ponder
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Christian Ponder /
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(Photo by Keith J. Randolph/Getty Images) D.J. Dozier
(Photo by Keith J. Randolph/Getty Images) D.J. Dozier /

7. D.J. Dozier – RB

First Round (14th overall) – 1987

After going five-straight seasons without having a 1,000-yard rusher, the Vikings used their first-round pick in the 1987 NFL Draft on Penn State running back D.J. Dozier.

At Penn State, Dozier scored a total of 29 touchdowns and gained over 3,000 rushing yards, so Minnesota figured they were getting a player who would turn into the franchise’s next great running back. Unfortunately, his success in college never transitioned over to the NFL.

In four seasons with the Vikings from 1987 to 1990, Dozier never ended a year with more than 260 rushing yards and he never caught more than 14 passes. These aren’t exactly the numbers that one would expect from a running back who was drafted in the first round.

His lack of production was mostly due to his inability to stay healthy. Dozier missed 15 games during his first two years with Minnesota and some believe his underwhelming start to his career with the Vikings is what led the team to make their infamous trade for Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker.

So not only was Dozier a draft bust, but his poor play is likely what caused Minnesota to make arguably the dumbest trade in the history of the franchise.