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  1. #1
    i_bleed_purple's Avatar
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    Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    Ahh, the 2003 draft.
    Some might remember this was the draft where the Vikings missed their pick.
    Ended up working out in the end, since we got an absolute stud anyway.

    Round Pick

    Player









    Pos

    School
    1

    9(9)



    Kevin Williams




    DE

    Oklahoma St.
    2

    8(40)


    E.J Henderson




    LB

    Maryland
    3

    7(71)


    Nate Burleson




    WR
    Nevada-Reno
    4

    8(105)

    Onterrio Smith




    OT
    Oregon
    6

    7(180)

    Eddie Johnson





    P


    Idaho St.
    6

    17(190)
    Mike Nattiel






    LB

    Florida
    7

    7(221)

    Keenan Howry




    WR
    Oregon


    1. Kevin Williams.
    Vikings had a feeling that Williams would slip, and wanted to trade with Baltimore to move down to 10th.
    Vikings submitted the trade to the NFL, but Baltimore never submitted their part, this led to the Vikings missing their 7th overall pick, moving down to 9.
    We got lucky that Williams was still there, and in the end, it doesn't matter.
    We got a perennial pro-bowler, an all-pro and the best DT in the league.
    Couldn't be happier with this pick
    Grade: A+
    Altenatives:
    Terrell Suggs, Marcus Trufant, Jimmy Kennedy, Ty Warren, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, Larry Johnson, Nnamdi Asomugha

    2. E.J. Henderson.
    For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    3. Nate Burleson.
    During his time spent here, he was rather productive. Had his best season starting opposite Moss, then filling in for him when he was hurt during Culpeppers phenomenal 2004 season.
    We lost him to the Seahawks to a poison pill contract.
    He never really put up great numbers in Seattle, but they have been might inconsistent the whole time as well, not sure he would have fared any better here.
    Grade: C+
    Alternatives: Kevin Curtis, Ricky manning, BJ Askew, Visanthe Shianco, Domenick Williams

    4. Onterrio Smith.
    Self-labeled the Steal of the draft, and very well may have been so.
    Was a very talented runner, with a good mix of speed, power and moves.
    Too bad he couldn't get his head on straight.
    Was suspended at the beginning of his third season with the Vikings, had a brief stint in the CFL, and is currently out of football.
    Was never re-instated by by the league, yet guys like Ricky Williams were, making me think that even after a year off, he still couldn't make good decisions.
    Grade: D+
    Alternatives: Shaun McDonald, Seneca Wallace, Terrence McGee, Asante Samuel, Ike Taylor

    5. Eddie Johnson.
    With the 6th round pick, the Vikings pick.... a punter.
    Hard for me to really give them any better than a D.
    In the whole draft, only two punters were selected, the other being Mike Scifres.
    Eddie Johnson played one season with the Vikings, had a 39 yard average, net average of 32.
    Could be worse I suppose, but certainly a guy that we should have waited until after the draft to pick up
    Grade: D-
    Alternatives: Cato June, David Tyree

    6. Mike Nattiel. Played predominately special teams for us for only two seasons, with some spot duty on Defense.
    Perhaps best known for picking off a Matt Hasslebeck pass and taking it 80 yards in 2003 during a 34-7 rout of the Seahawks.
    Not too much to say about this guy, didn't stay for long and is out of the league.
    Grade: D-
    Alternativs: Cato June, David Tyree

    7. Keenan Howry.
    During his time here, he recorded a whole 3 receptions for a whopping 18 yards.
    Spent more time on special teams returning punts and kickoffs, neither of which he was exceptionally good at.
    Lasted three years as a Viking, then was out of the NFL for good. He never fumbled, and had a long of 53 yards, so he didn't hurt us, but he really wasn't an asset in any way, shape or form.
    Grade: D+

    Overall: B-
    We struck gold with our first two picks, getting two great starters who will be with us for a long time.
    That in itself is enough to give a draft a decent grade.
    Burleson may have also been a solid contributer for us as well, but we won't know as the Seahawks stole him away with one of those poison pill contracts we used to get Hutch.
    Overall, some questionable picks later in the draft, but EJ and Williams make up for it.

  2. #2
    V4L's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    Damn if we just took Asante Samuel instead of Onterrio this draft would have been an all time great

    I love lookin at the what ifs ha

  3. #3
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  4. #4
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  5. #5
    V4L's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.

    =Z=

    +1

    I was gonna say that

    He was just a lil over his head at first

  6. #6
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.

    =Z=
    Almost all young players are over thier heads when they get stuck into a starting role at the next level.


    Having said that, do you think that the previous staff, if they would have remained the staff, would have moved him back?


    My guess is no.
    In fact my guess that they were pretty much ready to give up on EJ and the only reason he was playing OLB was because Red was to damn cheap to go out and get someone better.


    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  7. #7
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Marrdro" wrote:
    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.
    Almost all young players are over thier heads when they get stuck into a starting role at the next level.


    Having said that, do you think that the previous staff, if they would have remained the staff, would have moved him back?


    My guess is no.
    In fact my guess that they were pretty much ready to give up on EJ and the only reason he was playing OLB was because Red was to damn cheap to go out and get someone better.

    My guess is yes.
    Once EJ started to come into his own at OLB, a return to the middle was a natural progression for him in his development as a player.

    Look - I think Tice was a complete tool and bad coach.
    But I do give credit to that regime for recognizing that EJ had talent and just needed some seasoning - and PT.

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  8. #8
    midgensa's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.
    Almost all young players are over thier heads when they get stuck into a starting role at the next level.


    Having said that, do you think that the previous staff, if they would have remained the staff, would have moved him back?


    My guess is no.
    In fact my guess that they were pretty much ready to give up on EJ and the only reason he was playing OLB was because Red was to damn cheap to go out and get someone better.
    My guess is yes.
    Once EJ started to come into his own at OLB, a return to the middle was a natural progression for him in his development as a player.

    Look - I think Tice was a complete tool and bad coach.
    But I do give credit to that regime for recognizing that EJ had talent and just needed some seasoning - and PT.

    =Z=
    Definitely ... alot of teams would have given up on EJ far too soon ... it is nice to see a "project" pan out the way he has.

  9. #9
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re: Looking Back: 2003 Draft

    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    "Zeus" wrote:
    "Marrdro" wrote:
    2. E.J. Henderson.
    [size=10pt]For the first few years, it looked like he might be another one of those picks who plays out his rookie contract, then gets shipped away to another team.
    [/size]
    Was shuffled between linebacker positions, and it wasn't until his fourth season where he really started picking his game up.
    Had two pro-bowl calibre seasons until he was sidelined with a dislocated toe last year.
    In the second round, we got one of the top 3 LB's in the draft, beside Terrell Suggs and Lance Briggs.
    Grade: A
    Alternatives: Ken Hamlin, Kawika Mitchell, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten

    One of the smartest things this staff did was move EJ back to MLB.
    EJ has admitted on KFAN numerous times that he was in over his head at MLB when first given the chance to play the position.
    It was the previous staff putting him at OLB that allowed him to mature as a professional football player and become the monster in the middle he is now.
    Almost all young players are over thier heads when they get stuck into a starting role at the next level.


    Having said that, do you think that the previous staff, if they would have remained the staff, would have moved him back?


    My guess is no.
    In fact my guess that they were pretty much ready to give up on EJ and the only reason he was playing OLB was because Red was to gol 'darnit cheap to go out and get someone better.

    My guess is yes.
    Once EJ started to come into his own at OLB, a return to the middle was a natural progression for him in his development as a player.

    Look - I think Tice was a complete tool and bad coach.
    But I do give credit to that regime for recognizing that EJ had talent and just needed some seasoning - and PT.

    =Z=
    Couple of thoughts....

    1.
    I don't blame Tice for not having a real staff and for being over his head.
    I actually liked ole Meathead.
    Got to the point that he was the only entertainment that team had going for them over those years was him.

    2. Can you say, Chris Claiborne, Greg Biekert.


    They were looking and if they could have afforded someone else/better they would have relegated him to PS and the rest wouldn't be history.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

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