We are now up to #74 in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series, and this is one of those numbers that really has only one actual option. . .and it’s an option that nobody’s probably going to like.
Bryant McKinnie almost wasn’t a Minnesota Viking. After the Vikings took him at #7 overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, he staged what might have been the last of the great contract holdouts. He didn’t sign with the Vikings until Week 9 of the season. . .had he held out about a week longer, the Vikings would have lost his draft rights. He stepped in at left tackle almost immediately, and started 131 of his 132 career games as a Viking.
People loved to hate McKinnie, but seriously. . .after what we’ve seen at left tackle for this team recently, I think most of us would love in-his-prime Bryant McKinnie to come back somehow. When he was motivated, he was actually pretty darn good. However, the whole motivation thing tended to be a problem. . .like when the Vikings cut him during training camp in 2011 when he showed up (reportedly) weighing around 400 pounds.
The next-best #74 in Vikings history might be the guy that replaced McKinnie at left tackle in that 2011 season, Charlie Johnson. Yes, that Charlie Johnson, the one that Vikings fans couldn’t wait to replace with just about anyone. This is a number that hasn’t exactly been covered in glory over the years for the purple.
Vikings that have worn the number 74:
- Dave O’Brien (1963 - 1964)
- Mike Tilleman (1966)
- Steve Smith (1968 - 1970)
- Bart Buetow (1976)
- Frank Myers (1978 - 1979)
- “Not the running back” Robert Smith (1985)
- Mike Stensrud (1986)
- Mike McCurry (1987)
- Brian Habib (1989 - 1992)
- Orlando Bobo (1997 - 1998)
- Brad Badger (2000 - 2001)
- Bryant McKinnie (2002 - 2010)
- Charlie Johnson (2011 - 2014)
- Austin Shepherd (2015 - 2016)
Tomorrow, we move on to number 73!