NFC North: Mickey Shuler Jr.

Jahvid Best's official departure from the Detroit Lions merits a look back at the intra-division trade that made him the No. 30 overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft.

As you might recall, the Vikings sent that pick to the Lions in exchange for selections in the second (No. 34 overall ) and seventh (No. 214) rounds. The teams also swapped fourth-round picks, allowing the Vikings to move up to No. 100 overall and moving the Lions back to No. 128.

The Vikings drafted cornerback Chris Cook in the second round, used the fourth-rounder on defensive end Everson Griffen and took tight end Mickey Shuler Jr. in the seventh. The Lions used their fourth-round pick on offensive lineman Jason Fox.

Immediately after the trade, I obsessed over the Vikings' decision to pass on Best and ultimately draft Toby Gerhart as an understudy for Adrian Peterson. Then-coach Brad Childress later said the Vikings had reservations about Best's concussion history, but Peterson's production and health over that time period rendered the identity of his backup -- Gehart, Best or anyone else -- minimally relevant.

(And if you think Best would have been a bigger part of the Vikings' passing game than Gerhart has been, I would counter that Percy Harvin had that segment of the scheme covered.)

Let's take a closer look at the career and, in some cases the future, of the players who were involved in the trade.
  • Best: Concussions weren't the only ailment that limited Best's career. Nearly forgotten were a pair of turf toe injuries that hindered his explosiveness in his rookie year. For the most part, Best was an all-or-nothing back. He had four runs of 20 or more yards, totaling 186 yards. He gained 759 yards on his other 251 carries, an average of 3.0 yards per carry. Best was more explosive in the passing game, catching seven passes of at least 20 yards. He averaged 5.9 yards on his other 78 receptions. In all, Best produced 1,719 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns in 22 games.
  • Cook: Like Best, Cook has played 22 regular-season games, having been derailed by knee and wrist injuries as well as a 2011 arrest for which he was ultimately acquitted. He enters 2013 as the Vikings' presumed No. 1 cornerback, but his inability to complete any of his first three seasons makes that a sketchy projection. He has 11 pass knockdowns but hasn't recorded an interception in three seasons.
  • Griffen: Considered one of the draft's better pass-rushers, Griffen was available in the fourth round because of questions about his maturity and work ethic. Those concerns proved well-founded in 2011, when he was arrested twice in the span of three days, but he has since emerged as a skilled pass-rusher. He finished 2012 with eight sacks and also returned an interception for a touchdown despite making only one start.
  • Fox: Injuries limited him in his first two seasons, but he spent last season as a healthy backup and has a strong chance to earn the starting right tackle job in 2013. He has appeared in five NFL games, but only one since 2010.
  • Shuler: The Vikings tried and failed to get Shuler on their practice squad in 2010, losing him to the Miami Dolphins. He returned briefly last season but has never appeared in a regular season game for them.

Four years later, the trade left the Vikings with two key defensive players and the Lions with one potential offensive starter. As we discussed Wednesday, this is a trade that almost certainly wouldn't happen in 2013. No one would give up assets to move up and draft a player with a scary concussion history like Best's. So it goes.

Related: In the video, Michelle Steele and I discuss Best's legacy in Detroit.

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Free-agent receiver Marko Mitchell has been making the rounds in the NFC North.

Mitchell spent two days in the Detroit Lions' minicamp last week before being waived Friday. Monday, he was awarded on waivers to the Minnesota Vikings.

We don't always follow the minutia of waiver-wire claims here on the blog, but Mitchell is a player some of you might have heard of. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins last season and became a cult favorite among fans after an 11-catch preseason. Mitchell caught four passes during the regular season but didn't fit into new coach Mike Shanahan's scheme.

The Vikings tried to claim Mitchell when the Redskins waived him in May, but the Lions had a higher priority. A 6-foot-4, 218-pound receiver probably merits a training camp look, and now the Vikings have that opportunity.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Amelia Rayno of the Star Tribune profiles Vikings rookie tight end Mickey Shuler Jr., including this nugget about his mother and father: "Over Memorial Day weekend, his parents drove their RV from Harrisburg, Penn., and parked in a camping site in Savage, not too far from where the Vikings were having organized team activities at Winter Park. There, after team activities, Junior would often go to spend evenings much the way he did in high school. Mom Sue would make dinner -- 'always something healthy, with a protein, carb and a vegetable,' she said -- and after eating, father and son would sit down with the playbook together."
  • The Detroit Free Press summarizes the arrest video of Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand, who when asked how much he had to drink Friday night, said: "Not a thing. No. No. I haven't had a thing to drink in about a year and a half." Lewand later registered breath-test results of .20 and .21.
  • The Lions have signed seventh-round pick Willie Young, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News.
  • Joshua Katzenstein of the Detroit News: "The Lions have brought in multiple players to help improve the offense in 2010, but new assets at running back and tight end could begin to make the classic duties of a fullback obsolete."
  • Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith doesn't appear to have interest in free-agent cornerback Shawn Springs, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Green Bay Packers have sold more than 30,500 tickets for their Family Night scrimmage, scheduled for Aug. 7.