Biggest Vikings first-round NFL Draft busts from every decade

Former Minnesota Vikings WR Troy Williamson
Former Minnesota Vikings WR Troy Williamson / Jonathan Ferrey/GettyImages
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Biggest Vikings Draft Bust from the 1990s:

Dimitrius Underwood - DE (1999)

Minnesota began the 1990s with zero first-round selections in 1990, 1991, and 1992 as a result of the Herschel Walker trade in 1989. Thankfully, Robert Smith arrived in 1993, along with Todd Steussie (1994), Korey Stringer (1995), Dwayne Rudd (1997), and Randy Moss (1998).

The 1999 NFL Draft also began well for Minnesota when the organization took quarterback Daunte Culpepper with the 11th overall pick. Their second first-rounder of the day, however, was a doozy.

As a 6-foot-6, 312-pound defensive tackle for Michigan State, Dimitrius Underwood was a spectacular talent who collected a hefty amount of sacks and tackles for loss. He missed his senior year due to injuries, but the Vikings thought his talent was too much to pass up. The franchise believed it made a draft day steal when it grabbed Underwood with the 29th overall selection. 

Then, on the second day of training camp in 1999, Underwood left the Vikings’ facility. He later told team management that he was struggling with his Christian faith and the desire to play professional football. 

When it became obvious that Underwood was a lost cause, Minnesota waived him. Only days later, the Miami Dolphins signed Underwood but eventually cut him. It was during his time in Miami that Underwood was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His condition was evident when Underwood was found by Lansing, Michigan police in September walking down a road with a serious neck wound that was self-inflicted.

In the spring of 2000, Dallas signed Underwood, and he responded with four sacks and 17 tackles in 15 game appearances. Months later, Underwood tried to kill himself when he ran into traffic. He played in four games for Dallas in 2001 before leaving football for good.