20 star players the Vikings could have drafted in the last 5 years

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Lamar Jackson
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Lamar Jackson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Garrett Bradbury /

2019: Garrett Bradbury, C – pick 18 overall

A great example of a high draft pick that hasn’t reached their potential, Garrett Bradbury has started at center since arriving in Minnesota but hasn’t been able to achieve the level associated with a selection at No. 18 overall.

Centers aren’t typically drafted that high and missing on that pick to this point hurts. However, there are some star players the team could have chosen who could have contributed to a playoff run who were selected later in the draft.

Deebo Samuel, WR (pick 36 overall)

A dynamic player whether he is running with the ball or catching passes, Deebo Samuel can rack up yardage for any team in a big way. His speed and elusiveness with the 49ers have earned him an All-Pro First Team nod and Pro Bowl appearance in 2021 and he also holds the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a season by a wide receiver.

A.J. Brown, WR (pick 51 overall)

You’ll notice a theme in this year’s selections. This was the year to grab an undervalued receiver in the draft. A.J. Brown has been an absolute monster for the Titans despite not being in a high-powered passing offense, but he still made the Pro Bowl in 2020. He should help the Eagles move the ball down the field this season.

DK Metcalf, WR (pick 64 overall)

If you were to build the most unstoppable wide receiver in the NFL, it would probably look a lot like DK Metcalf. The Seahawks’ physical freak, Metcalf made the Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro Second Team in 2020 but lost quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos for the upcoming season, making his 2022 production a big question.

Maxx Crosby, DE (pick 106 overall)

Finding a great pass rusher can be a real challenge. Lately, the Vikings have struggled with injuries and exiting pass rushers, meaning drafting a player like Maxx Crosby of the Raiders to Minnesota. Crosby was named All-Pro second team and made the Pro Bowl in 2021 thanks to 25 sacks in 49 games played.

Diontae Johnson, WR (pick 66 overall)

Pass catchers were the right choice during this draft and it’s a shame that Minnesota didn’t land one of these elite pass catchers. Diontae Johnson has 2,764 yards and 20 touchdowns in his 47 games played and should continue to be a force to be reckoned with while with the Steelers. He was All-Pro second team in 2019 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2021.