Ranking all 10 Vikings draft classes during the Rick Spielman era

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /

No. 4

2014 Draft Class

The Vikings’ 2014 draft class is one of their more polarizing ones over the last decade.

It began with Anthony Barr at pick No. 9, who was Mike Zimmer’s first-ever pick and was kept around maybe a bit too long. Barr put forth an elite 90 PFF grade in 2015 but never bounced back to that level again.

A lot of Barr’s impact is intangible, though, as he was a constant leader on the Vikings’ defense and was their defensive signal-caller. When he hit free agency and initially committed to the Jets, he got cold feet and came back to Minnesota. That large contract has hung over his head ever since, but his four straight Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2018 show the respect he has earned.

Then, of course, there is Teddy Bridgewater. The only quarterback in recent memory in Minnesota who truly was considered a potential franchise quarterback, he blew his knee out in a freak incident before the 2016 season after a promising first two seasons under center.

Spielman and the Vikings cannot be held responsible for Teddy not turning out after they traded up for him. He was beloved by the fans, his coaches, and his teammates, and the fact that he is still playing is a testament to his great attitude and perseverance.

Jerick McKinnon was very much worth the 96th pick in the draft. He was a great change of pace running back and was vital to the team’s 2017 run as he and Latavius Murray filled in for Dalvin Cook. He left Minnesota to get paid the big bucks in San Francisco, which no one can blame him for. 2021 has been his first year healthy since he left Minnesota and it has been great to see.

Shamar Stephen never made a huge impact, but as a seventh-round pick, you cannot ask much more from him. No other Viking selected in this class ever made any sizable contributions, but the top of this class earns in a top-five rank.