Ron Yary is one of only 13 players in the history of the National Football League draft to have gone from being the first overall pick of a draft to earning election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1968 - RON YARY, T, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)
How the Vikings landed the No. 1 pick:
The Vikings obtained the draft pick from the New York Giants in a trade that involved future Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. The Giants, who finished 7-7 in 1967, had obtained the draft’s first pick as compensation resulting from the AFL-NFL merger agreement that included the Giants accepting the Jets as a New York entry into the new merged league starting in 1970.
Scouting Yary’s college career:
Yary transferred from Cerritos Junior College to USC as a sophomore and quickly became a key element of the Trojans’ attack. After playing defensive end his first year at USC, he was switched to offense as a junior. Yary earned All-America honors twice and in 1967 was named the Outland Trophy and Knute Rockne Award winner as the nation’s best lineman.
Yary played in all 14 games for the Vikings as a rookie but did not crack the regular starting lineup. However, he showed enough promise that year, including a fine showing against the Rams’ Deacon Jones that rave reviews about his future were flowing including an endorsement by his head coach. Bud Grant commented, “he’s going to be a superstar.”
NFL Career highlights:
Yary, a seven-time Pro Bowler, earned All-NFL honor six straight season from 1970-77. He also started in four Super Bowls and five NFL/NFC title games. HOF Bio>>>
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