In the entire history of the franchise, the Minnesota Vikings have only held the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft twice. The first was in 1961, before the team had ever played an NFL game. The second time was in 1967, when they wound up with the #1 overall pick courtesy of the trade that sent quarterback Fran Tarkenton to the New York Giants. With the first pick in that 1967 NFL Draft, they selected offensive tackle Ron Yary from the University of Southern California.
Yary wound up having a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, spending the first 14 years of his career with the Vikings. Prior to the 1982 season, Yary forced the Vikings to deal him to the Los Angeles Rams. That season, which was shortened by a player strike, was his final year in the NFL. In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Yary said that forcing that trade was his the thing he regrets most about his NFL career.
"In my situation, it was the wrong decision," Yary told Howard Balzer and fellow Hall-of-Famer Tim Brown on Hall of Fame Radio Saturday. "And as I look back in retrospect, it was a bad thing for me to have been because I probably could have played another three years minimum if I had stayed with the Vikings. But it turned out to be a bad decision because I went to a team that had a different makeup than what we had in Minnesota. It was kind of a cultural shock, but in the sense it made me appreciate all the 14 years I had with the Vikings because we had a great deal of respect for one another, including the owners and the players and all the coaches."
Yary is definitely on the short list of the greatest offensive linemen in Vikings' history. He was a six-time All-Pro and was named the NFC's Offensive Lineman of the year for three consecutive years from 1973 to 1975. It's too bad that his time in Minnesota ended the way it did, but sometimes that's just how things go, I guess.
You can hear the interview that was conducted by SiriusXM NFL Radio with Yary below.