4 best Minnesota Vikings first-round picks of the last decade

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /

Harrison Smith – S (2012)

The Vikings had two first-round picks back in 2012 and nailed one of them. Their first choice, Matt Kalil didn’t pan out, but they traded back into the first round and took an aggressive safety out of Notre Dame. A move that later proved to be genius.

Harrison Smith is simply one of the best safeties in the NFL today. The guy can do it all. He can cover, he can make game-changing plays, and he can lay bone-crushing hits.

What is most impressive about his nine ultra-productive seasons in the league is that he’s basically done it by himself. He hasn’t had a long term partner in the secondary for the better portion of his career.

Until just recently with Anthony Harris, Minnesota has pretty much had someone new next to Smith each season for the majority of his career. Despite this, he’s continued to be extremely productive.

Smith’s career numbers are staggering. He’s racked up 658 tackles, 155 tackles for a loss, 23 interceptions, and 13 sacks. He’s just a beast, and one of the reasons the Vikings defense has been so good for so long.

Smith will be 31-years-old at the start of the 2020 season and he is approaching the twilight of his career. But he likely still has a few years of good football left in him.

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When it is all said and done, he’ll undoubtedly have a spot in Minnesota’s Ring of Honor and he should be viewed as the team’s best first-round pick of the 2010s.