In terms of value, Scott Studwell was one of the greatest late-round picks in Vikings history. Actually, he may very well be the best of the bunch, drafted in the ninth round of the 1977 NFL Draft at the 250th overall spot. He left Illinois as the school’s second all-time leading tackler behind Dick Butkus and was severely underrated in the draft.
What top-tier linebacker can nearly break a school’s all-time leading tackle record and still fall to the ninth round? Well, no one today since the draft only has seven rounds, but that just goes to show how much Studwell exceeded expectations.
Through his first three seasons, No. 55 played very little and it looked like he might just be a bench player who could come in and spot start for injured players. He started just six games in his first three seasons, but then he became the team’s top linebacker.
Studwell went on to start all but six games that he appeared in over the next 11 seasons with the Vikings, retiring as the all-time leading tackler in franchise history in 1990 with 1,981 tackles, 11 interceptions and nine sacks. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and named an All-Pro three times.
There’s a reason he is considered one of the best Vikings in franchise history.
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