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 2000s:

Erasmus James and Troy Williamson (2005)

The Vikings began the 2000s by selecting Chris Hovan in 2000. Bryant McKinnie came in 2002, followed by Kevin Williams in 2003, Chad Greenway in 2006, Adrian Peterson in 2007, and Percy Harvin in 2009.

Amidst all of their good selections, Minnesota’s 2005 first-round picks were abysmal. Hoping to add a playmaker to their receiving core after Randy Moss left for Oakland after 2004, the franchise took South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson with the seventh overall pick. Then, the Vikes added depth to the defensive line by snagging Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James with the 18th overall selection.

Both players were standouts in college, and James received several accolades, including All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, all in 2004. On paper, the picks should have worked in the Vikings’ favor.

Williamson had 24 receptions and two touchdowns in his rookie year, followed by a career-best 37 catches in 2006. The problem was he seemed to drop every other pass. Before the 2007 season, Williamson claimed that he had poor depth perception. That was obvious when he caught all of 18 passes that year. Before 2008, Williamson was traded to Jacksonville, where he had eight receptions and one touchdown in two years before retiring.

James didn’t fare much better. His rookie year saw him start nine games and net 29 tackles and four sacks. He then had three total starts in 2006 and 2007 due to injuries and was traded to Washington before 2008. James’ Minnesota stats included 38 tackles and five sacks.