COLUMN: History hasn't been kind to 22nd overall pick

If you have a favorite team in the National Football League, then you've most likely spent time either pondering who your team is going to draft in the next two weeks or looking at numerous mock drafts to get some idea.

If you have a favorite team in the National Football League, then you've most likely spent time either pondering who your team is going to draft in the next two weeks or looking at numerous mock drafts to get some idea.

I leave no stones unturned when trying to get an inside track on who the Minnesota Vikings will pick at the No. 22 spot. In the past nine years, the 22nd pick hasn't really set the world on fire and has even been a source of disappointment for a few teams.

If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself:

- After starting 10 games as a rookie in 2000, Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chris McIntosh hurt his neck in training camp the next year. He retired from football in 2003. He's a bust.

- In 2001, the New York Giants drafted cornerback Will Allen out of Syracuse. He hasn't made a Pro Bowl, but he's played in 119 of 128 games, starting 118 of them. The Giants got five years out of him before he jumped to the Dolphins where he's been a fixture in the secondary. He's been a longtime starter in the league, but not quite all-star caliber.


- 2002 saw the Jets draft defensive end Bryan Thomas, who still plays in New York but has since moved to outside linebacker. He hasn't earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, but he has become a consistent starter the past three years.

- Chicago Bears fans won't forget when their team picked quarterback Rex Grossman out of Florida in 2003. Grossman was highly praised out of college as a Brett Favre-type prospect and eventually earned the starting job, taking the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006. However, that season could be his claim to fame as he has since lost his job and is now a free agent that no one seems to want. He's a bust.

- The Buffalo Bills selected J.P. Losman out of Tulane with their 22nd pick in the 2004 draft. He had an average season in 2006, the only one where he actually played all 16 games. He lost his job to Trent Edwards in 2008 and is looking for a team to pick him up. He's a bust.

- Wide receiver Mark Clayton was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005 and he's proven himself an asset, despite not posting a 1,000-yard season. He's averaged 50 catches a season since he joined the NFL, so while he's not a Pro Bowl player, he's not a bust either.

- Manny Lawson was one of three North Carolina State defensive linemen taken in the first round of the 2006 draft (Mario Williams and John McCargo are the other two). The outside linebacker was taken by the 49ers and it's been a mixed bag since. He had a decent rookie year, but certainly hasn't met first-round standards. We'll say the jury is still out on him.

- Most draft followers remember when a highly-publicized Notre Dame quarterback named Brady Quinn fell all the way to the No. 22 spot where he was picked by the Cleveland Browns. Quinn has had very limited time on the field, but did get to make three starts last year, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. It's hard to tell at this point because he's stuck behind Derek Anderson. He'll be easier to grade once he gets a chance to start every game.

- The Dallas Cowboys picked Arkansas running back Felix Jones last season and he looked good early, playing six games before tearing his hamstring, which ended his season. He was averaging more than 27 yards per kickoff return and took 30 carries for 266 yards and three TDs. If he can stay healthy, he could be a dangerous weapon for the Cowboys.

- 2009? To be determined. This pick doesn't have a lot of history with success, at least not in the past decade. Still, the Vikings don't need a 7-time Pro Bowler; they need steady starters.


I recently looked at 48 updated mock drafts that went back a full week and the majority of them had the Vikings picking between three guys while another one was in the mix.

Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin, Arizona left tackle Eben Britton and Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis were the favorites. I gave them all a point every time they were picked in the Vikings' spot and the above three all received nine points. Receiving seven points was speedy Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey while North Carolina wideout Hakeem Nicks got four points. Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and California center Alex Mack both received three points.

Percy Harvin just tested positive for marijuana, so Brad Childress will likely not pick him, though he'd be great to put at the slot.

I would expect it to be between Davis, Britton and Heyward-Bey. Davis could step in as a nickelback and eventually take Cedric Griffin's starting spot. Either way, the Vikings would have the depth they need in the secondary. Britton would most likely fill the gaping hole that is right tackle while Heyward-Bey has great speed and good hands. I look for them to pick one of these three. They're all areas of need. Some drafts have the Vikings picking a center, but I don't think so. Backup John Sullivan could very well be the next Matt Birk and I think once he has his chance, he will shine.

I do know one thing; it won't be a quarterback unless Mark Sanchez or Matt Stafford happens to fall or maybe Josh Freeman. It doesn't look like it, though.

Sage Rosenfels, here we come.

Chris Aarhus is a sports writer for The Dickinson Press. He can be reached by e-mail at

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