Minnesota Vikings: 15 best first-round draft picks of all time

Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Although Keith Millard was selected with the No. 13 overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft, he didn’t begin playing for the Vikings until 1985. Instead, he first spent a year with the Los Angeles Dragons of the USFL.

When he eventually joined Minnesota for the 1985 season, Millard made an immediate impact by exploding for 11 sacks. He didn’t slow down any time after that either. He followed up that campaign with one which saw him finish with 10.5 sacks. Millard then had the biggest sack output of his career in 1989 when he notched 18 quarterback takedowns.

In addition to production, Millard gained plenty of recognition. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro player, adding the 1989 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award to his résumé and winning UPI NFC Player of the Year.

He finished his career with 58 sacks in just 93 total games played and he even intercepted two passes from the middle of the defensive line. Had he not suffered a devastating knee injury in 1990, Millard likely would have continued to dominate opposing offensive linemen.

– AC