Quick! We need more buildup to the NFL Draft! The top prospects do not have enough pressure on them. Will they bust or become perennial Pro Bowlers? Matt Sussman and Tuffy examine both sides of each coin, writing articles from the year 2011 "looking back" on the top 2007 draft picks. Just another reason to own a flux capacitor.
Adrian Peterson The Bust
MINNEAPOLIS — When Adrian Peterson fell all the way to the seventh pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, Vikings fans across the state felt they had stolen the best running back in the draft. Rob Brzezinski, Vikings general manager at the time, agreed. "We got away with one today," Brzezinski smirked. Considering the recent history of poor and even forgetful draft selections over the previous few seasons, it certainly seemed the Vikings had indeed pulled Peterson out from under the other franchises.
When no other owners sought prosecution of Zygi Wilf for violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 2314 (transportation of stolen goods over state lines), perhaps someone should have been suspicious. However, Peterson delivered the goods himself for the 2007 season. He showed up in the best health of his career and strapped the team on his back, leading them to a 10-6 record with the same brute force with which he slammed through defensive lines.
After 401 carries, 1620 yards, and a respectable second-round playoff exit, the 2008 season fell into the Super Bowl or Bust category. When the Vikings went 6-10 and Peterson tried to shake off nagging injuries to his shoulder and hamstrings all season, the franchise fretted but could do nothing but reload and hope Peterson could regain the form he showed in his rookie campaign.
Peterson struggled off the field as well. He became moody and withdrawn, even from teammates and especially from the media. A DUI arrest in Eden Prairie, MN, in February 2009 brought Peterson's maturity and devotion into question when his love for football was cited as his strongest point merely two years previous.