Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Minnesota Vikings Museum Highlights 55th Anniversary of Landmark 1967 Draft


EAGAN, Minn. — To teams in the National Football League and American Football League, the 1967 draft was the first "common" one between the leagues.

Held March 14-15, the joint effort eliminated bidding battles that followed separate drafts by each league.

To the Minnesota Vikings, it was one for the ages, amidst one of the most monumental months in franchise history.

The Minnesota Vikings Museum is celebrating the 55th anniversary of that draft with a special temporary exhibit that will open Friday, April 1 and go through Monday, May 30.

"The upcoming NFL Draft is always an exciting time for Vikings fans. Here at the Vikings Museum, we want to capture that excitement and showcase how important the draft is for the future of our franchise," Museum & Asset Manager Jessica Faucher said. "With our new, temporary exhibit, we go back in time 55 years to showcase artifacts from the Vikings 1967 draft class and highlight why it is considered to be one of the best in franchise history."


2022 Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party

Vikings Draft Party is making its return to in-person festivities at U.S. Bank Stadium! The party will kick off at 6 p.m. (CT) Thursday, April 28.

Why was it so great for Minnesota?

The team agreed on March 7 to trade quarterback Fran Tarkenton to the New York Giants in exchange for a bounty of draft picks. Minnesota hired Bud Grant as its second head coach on March 10 and set in motion a "Decade of Dominance" with its draft haul four days later, even though General Manager Jim Finks was hospitalized.

The Vikings acquired the "bonus" pick the Giants had been awarded during the merger that could be used in the 1967 or 1968 drafts, as well as New York's first-round pick in the other of those two drafts and second-round picks in 1967 and 1969.

Minnesota saved the bonus pick until 1968 and used the 1967 first-round selection to take Clinton Jones at No. 2 overall before using its own choice to tab his Michigan State football and track teammate Gene Washington at No. 8.

The second-round choice from the Giants was used to select Bob Grim. The extra choice allowed the Vikings to send their selection that round, along with first-ever pick Tommy Mason and Hal Bedsole to the Los Angeles Rams.

Minnesota acquired Marlin McKeever and the No. 15 overall pick, which the team used to choose Alan Page, whose indelible mark on the franchise, the NFL and community are chronicled in multiple spots in the Minnesota Vikings Museum and through external distinctions and awards.

The decision paid off in subsequent years with the Vikings using the No. 1 overall pick the Giants would have had in 1968 to tab Ron Yary and the second-rounder in 1969 to add Ed White.

That's five Vikings eventually enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Tarkenton, Grant, Finks, Page and Yary — who were connected to the landmark 1967 draft.