Every team has its share of hits and misses in the NFL Draft and the Minnesota Vikings are no exception. What would the perfect Vikings draft since 2000 look like -- the best of the best in each round? FOX Sports North gives our take below. (Note: only statistics considered are those when played with Minnesota.)
Round 1: Adrian Peterson (2007)
Before Peterson arrived, Minnesota had one 1,000-yard rusher from 2000-06. Peterson then topped that mark in each of his first four seasons and then three more times. Three times he led the league in rushing, including totaling 2,097 yards, the second-highest single-season total in NFL history. In all, Peterson rushed for 11,747 yards for the Vikings with 97 touchdowns. He is widely considered the best running back of his era.
Other notables: Anthony Barr (2014), Chad Greenway (2008), Chris Hovan (2000), Bryant McKinnie (2002), Harrison Smith (2012) and Kevin Williams (2003).
Round 2: E.J. Henderson (2003)
Henderson was everything you wanted in a middle linebacker: tough, intense and productive. He played his entire career in Minnesota, totaling 125 games. After being a reserve as a rookie, Henderson would take over the starting role in 2004 and accumulate 105 starts with 751 tackles -- four times topping the 100 mark -- for the Vikings. Henderson would suffer injuries in both 2008 and '09 which would end his seasons prematurely, but despite breaking his femur, Henderson would amazingly rebound in 2010, recording 105 tackles and being named to the Pro Bowl.
Other notables: Eric Kendricks (2015), Phil Loadholt (2009) and Kyle Rudolph (2011).
Round 3: Danielle Hunter (2015)
Hunter is certainly an up-and-coming player for the Vikings who is coming off a tremendous 2016 season but, no offense to him, the defense end pretty much wins this one by default. The only other choice would be wide receiver Nate Burleson, who only played three seasons with Minnesota (with 127 catches). After a rookie season in which he had six sacks, Hunter made his presence known often last year, posting 12.5 sacks -- second in the NFL -- and 56 tackles.
Other notables: None.
Round 4: Everson Griffin (2010)
It's hard to believe Griffen was held without a sack as a rookie because he's had 48 in the six seasons since. In that time, Griffen has turned himself into one of the better defensive ends in the league, recording eight or more sacks in a season four times, including 12 in 2014 and 10.5 in '15. Griffen has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. If you think Brian Robison (56 sacks, 17.5 passes defensed and 13 forced fumbles in 10 seasons) is the choice here, we'd have no argument.
Other notables: Ray Edwards (2006) and Robison (2007).
AP PhotoPhelan M. Ebenhack
Round 5: Stefon Diggs (2015)
You certainly don’t expect a fifth-round pick to be your go-to receiver as a rookie, but Diggs quickly established himself as Minnesota's No. 1 receiver, finishing the 2015 season with 52 receptions for 720 yards with four touchdowns. Diggs is the only rookie to lead the Vikings in receptions during a season. He followed that up with 84 catches for 903 yards with three TDs in 13 games in 2016.
Other notables: Letroy Guion (2008) and Jeff Locke (2013).
Bruce KluckhohnUSA TODAY Sports
Round 6: John Sullivan (2008)
After sitting behind Matt Birk for a year, Sullivan took over as Minnesota's starting center in 2009 after Birk left for Baltimore. From 2009-14, Sullivan would miss just three games as he anchored the line for some prolific offenses led by, at times, Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson.
Other notables: Brandon Fusco (2011).
Round 7: Audie Cole (2012)
Minnesota hasn't been able to find any real gems in the final round, but Cole was a special teams standout in his five years with the team, also making seven starts from 2013-15.
Other notables: Jeff Dugan (2004), Jamarca Sanford (2009) and Shamar Stephen (2014).