MINNEAPOLIS -- We're continuing our review of the Minnesota Vikings' recent draft history today, with a look at how the team did in 2010:
First-round pick: No. 30 (traded to Detroit with fourth-rounder for second-rounder, fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder)
Number of picks: 8
Total Draft AV: 35 (31st; San Francisco was the best with a 128 AV)
How they did: If the 2009 draft was one of general manager Rick Spielman's best, the 2010 draft might rank as his worst. The Vikings began with the 30th pick in the draft, so they weren't going to get the top player on the board, but the number of players who didn't live up to expectations or simply didn't contribute makes this draft a significant missed opportunity for the Vikings. It came in a year when they were coming off an overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game and had designs on getting back there the next season. It is worth noting that of the teams who had the seven best drafts, according to Pro Football Reference's Approximate Value statistic, six -- San Francisco, New England, Denver, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Green Bay -- have played in a Super Bowl since then. The four teams who played in conference title games that season -- New Orleans, Indianapolis, the New York Jets and the Vikings -- all struggled to pull value out of late-round picks and haven't been back since.
Pivotal pick: The Vikings started the second round of the draft with two picks -- Nos. 34 and 62 overall -- after trading out of the first round. They used the first to select cornerback Chris Cook, but traded the second, along with a third-round pick, to Houston, in order to move up 11 spots and select Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. The former Heisman Trophy runner-up gave the Vikings a backup for Adrian Peterson after the departure of Chester Taylor, and the previous trade gave them ammunition to move back up in the draft, but Gerhart's role limited how much of an impact he would make. The 62nd pick wound up in the hands of the New England Patriots, who selected linebacker Brandon Spikes, and the Kansas City Chiefs acquired pick No. 93 to take tight end Tony Moeski -- two picks after the 49ers took Bowman.
Best pick: It's a low bar, given the fact only one player from this draft is still on the team, but fourth-rounder Everson Griffen might win the title on that basis alone. The Vikings gambled on Griffen after character concerns dropped him in the draft, and have seen enough flashes of a dynamic pass-rusher that they spent $20 million in guaranteed money to make sure Griffen stays on their roster. After Gerhart signed with Jacksonville and Cook ended a disappointing tenure with the Vikings by signing with San Francisco, Griffen will run unopposed in his bid to become the most productive pick from the Vikings' 2010 draft.
Worst pick: There are several candidates here. One could make a case for fifth-rounders Chris DeGeare or Nate Triplett, who were both out of the league by 2012, and there is an equally compelling case to be made for Cook, who struggled with injuries, was suspended in 2011 after a domestic assault charge and didn't intercept a pass in 29 starts with the Vikings. According to Pro Football Reference, only one cornerback in NFL history has started more games than Cook without recording an interception.