8. Derrick Alexander – DE
First Round (11th overall) – 1995
For a guy that was drafted ahead of current Pro Football Hall of Famers Warren Sapp, Ty Law, Derrick Brooks, Curtis Martin, and Terrell Davis in 1995, Alexander should have been a much better player for the Vikings. But during his four seasons with Minnesota, the young pass rusher struggled to live up the expectations that came with being a first-round draft pick.
To his credit, Alexander was a starting defensive end for the Vikings during each of his four years with the team. He just never performed at that high of a level.
In 57 games with Minnesota, Alexander ended up with 175 total tackles and only 17.5 sacks. He averaged less than five sacks per season during his time with the Vikings.
Some believe that the pass rusher’s struggles were because he wasn’t really a fit for Minnesota’s defense. Alexander was viewed as more of a fit for a 3-4 defense and the Vikings used a 4-3 alignment on the defensive side of the ball during his entire tenure with the team.
So perhaps Minnesota deserves some of the blame for using such a high draft pick on a player who wasn’t even a fit for their defense.