10 best Vikings draft picks since 2000

The Minnesota Vikings are entering the 2023 NFL draft hoping to grow their team for the future. Each year, it’s a time of hope and projecting out the future of your team.

There are plenty of positives with past Vikings drafts. They have drafted multiple Hall of Fame players and have seen a lot of success in the later rounds.

Despite all the success they have had in the draft, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. There have been plenty of misses which I highlighted in an earlier article. This piece will highlight the 10 best Vikings draft picks in that same time frame.

Honorable mention: WR Jarius Wright

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  • 2012, fourth round pick, No. 118

One of three fourth-round picks, including being one of two Arkansas wide receivers taken in the round, Wright had a nice career with the Vikings spanning six years and had two seasons of over 50 receptions. His everlasting moment will be when he took a screen pass 87 yards for the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the New York Jets in 2014.

10. LB Eric Kendricks

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  • 2015, second round pick, No. 45

  • One Pro Bowl appearance

  • One first-team All-Pro

Kendricks was the second UCLA linebacker that the Vikings took and he was the leader in the middle for the Vikings. Having played eight seasons for the purple and gold, Kendricks was known for his tackling ability and how good he was in coverage. There are multile highlights where Kendricks made a great play at the catch point, including multiple interceptions.

9. DE Ifeadi Odenigbo

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  • 2017, seventh round pick, No. 220

A seventh round pick that never became a full time starter feels weird on this list, but the value that Odenigbo provided was excellent. As a rotational pass rusher, Odenigbo has 14.0 career sacks, including 7.0 in 2019 with the Vikings. Getting any production from a seventh round pick is good value, but a 7.0 sack season is excellent.

8. LT Christian Darrisaw

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  • 2021, first round pick, No. 23

A first round pick isn’t often a great value, but it’s more how the Vikings ended up with my 11th-ranked prospect that season. Sitting initially at 14th overall, the Vikings traded down to 23rd with the New York Jets and still took the guy they were planning on at 14. Darrisaw has already proven to be a top-five left tackle in football and is only getting better.

7. DE Brian Robison

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  • 2007, fourth round pick, No. 102

After spending his first four seasons as a rotational player, Robison earned a starting job opposite of Jared Allen in 2011. He was a starter for six seasons and has three seasons of 8.0+ sacks and accumulated a total of 60.0 sacks. His leadership was pivotal in the beginning of the Mike Zimmer era and fans will remember him for his 96 Questions show on

6. C John Sullivan

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  • 2008, sixth round pick, No. 187

The Vikings struck gold in 1998 when they selected Matt Birk in the seventh-round and did so in 2008 when they drafted his replacement. Sullivan was a very good center that was a starter for the Vikings for six seasons, starting with 2009. A back injury ended his Vikings tenure and slowed down his career significantly, but he was really good before that.

5. RT Brian O'Neill

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  • 2018, second round pick, No. 62

  • One Pro Bowl appearance

At the time, numerous analysts were ripping on the Vikings for panicking and overdrafting O’Neill at 62. In real time, it made sense. There was a massive OL run at the begging of the second round and O’Neill felt like a reach as a former tight end. He proved everyone wrong quickly when he replaced Rashod Hill in week two of his rookie season and didn’t allow a sack for over two seasons. He is currently one of the top tackles in football.

4. WR Justin Jefferson

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  • 2020, first round pick, No. 22

  • Three Pro Bowl appearances

  • One firs-team All-Pro

  • 2022 Offensive Player of the Year

I can hear your question already. “Why is Jefferson only at number four?” Let’s break it down. First off, he fell into their lap at 22 due to the Eagled flop and a first round pick is expected to be really good. Jefferson has exceeded expectations and been a great pick, but he wasn’t quite as good of a value as the others, which is what I’m basing this list on. Even so, he’s been tremendous for the Vikings and is on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

3. DE Everson Griffen

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  • 2010, fourth round pick, No. 100

  • Second-team All-Pro 2017

  • Four Pro Bowl appearances

The Vikings had a lot of success drafting edge rushers in the middle rounds and Griffen was a gem. After having only started one game in his first four seasons, the Vikings rewarded him with a five year, $40 million contract with hopes that he kept growing. He delivered for the Vikings and with 79.5 sacks as a Vikings and was a multi-year captain.

2. DE Danielle Hunter

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  • 2015, third round pick, No. 88

  • Three Pro Bowl appearances

  • Second team All-Pro 2018

After only accumulating 4.5 sacks at LSU, the Vikings took a chance on Hunter, who had a bevy of talent and tools to work with. He rewarded the Vikings early and often. He has 4 seasons over 10.5 sacks and all seven seasons which he played (missed 2020 with a neck injury) Hunter has registered at least 6.0 sacks.

1. WR Stefon Diggs

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  • 2015, fifth round pick, No. 146

  • Three Pro Bowl appearances

  • One first-team All-Pro 2020

  • One second-team All-Pro 2022

The crown jewel of the 2015 draft class, Diggs fell to the fifth round due to the insane depth at wide receiver along with lingering soft tissue injuries. After missing the first four games of his rookie season, he emerged against the Denver Broncos by torching Aquib Talib on a blaze route and didn’t stop producing, including the Minneapolis Miracle. While his time didn’t end the best in Minnesota, Diggs got the Vikings a huge return of four picks in a trade with the Buffalo Bills. Those picks ended up netting the Vikings Jefferson and Camryn Bynum.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire