No. 2 – Adrian Peterson, Running Back (2007)
During the months leading up to the 2007 NFL Draft, there was ample speculation the Vikings would select a quarterback to finally nail down much-needed continuity at the position. Minnesota opted against choosing Notre Dame signal-caller Brady Quinn and selected running back Adrian Peterson instead via Oklahoma. The choice of Peterson over anybody else changed the franchise and league eternally.
As a rookie, Peterson shattered the single-game rushing record on November 4th, 2007 in a game at the Metrodome versus the San Diego Chargers. He rushed for 296 yards and three touchdowns in that Week 9 match-up.
For the season, Peterson amassed 1,341 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns. Both marks were second in the NFL to the Chargers LaDanian Tomlinson who was at the peak of his powers.
Aside from the gaudy numbers, Peterson’s rookie campaign gave the team an identity it had not possessed since Randy Moss has been traded two years prior. Peterson would remain with the Vikings for ten seasons–through ups and downs–and can easily be in discussions of greatest Vikings player of all-time.
However, the next man on the list would fiercely disagree.