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George Paton’s time with the Vikings was a mixed bag of personnel moves

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The Broncos have their man. George Paton, who has spent the past 14 seasons in Minnesota, is the new general manager in Denver, agreeing to a six-year deal to replace John Elway.

He’ll have a big job in front of him. The Broncos have missed the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, failing to reach the postseason since winning Super Bowl 50. And in the last four years, they’ve been below .500, the longest stretch of ineptitude in franchise history.

During Paton’s time in Minnesota, the Vikings reached the playoffs six times. They also won the NFC North on four occasions.

How did they do it? In part, by being really good in the draft.

Paton’s tenure was filled with some great finds:

Everson Griffen – 2010 | 4th round
Kyle Rudolph – 2011 | 2nd round
Harrison Smith – 2012 | 1st round
Xavier Rhodes – 2013 | 1st round
Anthony Barr – 2014 | 1st round
Trae Waynes – 2015 | 1st round
Eric Kendricks – 2015 | 2nd round
Danielle Hunter – 2015 | 3rd round
Stefon Diggs – 2015 | 5th round
Dalvin Cook – 2017 | 2nd round
Justin Jefferson – 2020 | 1st round

That’s an impressive list. One that gets even better when you add in undrafted free agent Adam Thielen.

But it hasn’t all been good. During Paton’s years in Minnesota, the Vikings have had their share of bust:

Chris Cook – 2010 | 2nd round
Toby Gerhart – 2010 | 2nd round
Christian Ponder – 2011 | 1st round
Matt Kalil – 2012 | 1st round
Sharrif Floyd – 2013 | 1st round
Laquon Treadwell – 2016 | 1st round

In free agency, the Vikings have had their share of misses, as well

Bernard Berrian – 2008
Madieu Williams – 2008
Remi Ayodole – 2011
John Carlson – 2012
Josh Freeman – 2013
Greg Jennings – 2013
Alex Boone – 2016
Michael Griffin – 2016
Emmanuel Lamur – 2016
Andre Smith – 2016
Michael Floyd – 2017
Datone Jones – 2017
Kirk Cousins – 2018

As the Broncos look to improve their roster, they’ll have to hope it’s the good version of George Paton that is making the final decisions on draft picks and free agents.