Kevin Williams Has Been Through A Lot With The Minnesota Vikings
By Joseph Gunther
Kevin Williams, DT #93
Hometown: Fordyce, AR
College: Oklahoma State
Experience: 10 years
He may not be the most interesting man in the NFL, but Williams has had some interesting events unfold since leaving the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The drama began before he even had an NFL contract. At the 2003 NFL Draft at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Minnesota Vikings owned the No. 7 overall pick after finishing the previous season with a 6-10 record. When the seventh pick rolled around, the Vikings were working on a trade with the Baltimore Ravens that would have swapped the No. 7 pick for the No. 10, among other things.
Each team was allowed 15 minutes to make its selection, but the time had passed before the trade could be completed. The Jacksonville Jaguars immediately took Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich. The Carolina Panthers followed suit and took Utah offensive tackle Jordan Gross before the Vikings could get their pick in to the commissioner.
With the Ravens now on the clock, the Vikings finally selected Williams.
Drama came back to the big, athletic defensive tackle in 2008 when the NFL suspended him four games for using a banned diuretic called StarCaps.
He appealed the suspension because they didn’t know the drug contained bumetanide. The substance was not listed on the drug’s label. After nearly three years of fighting the suspension in court, Williams gave up the fight and the suspension was reduced to two games and fined two additional game checks. His suspension left the Vikings without its defensive line leader for the first two games of the 2011 season.
Williams has been one of the most durable defensive linemen in the game since coming into the league. He has missed only two games due to injury in his nine NFL seasons.
Along with durability, Williams is one of the most athletic and talented defensive tackles in the NFL. He has been named to the Pro Bowl six times, the first in 2004 and the most recent in 2010. The Vikings honored him as one of the 50 greatest Vikings as part of the team’s 50th season celebration in 2010. He has also earned Associated Press First Team All-Pro five times, between 2004 and 2009. In 2008, he earned Vikings Defensive MVP honors. The NFC named him the Defensive Player of the Week honors in November of 2004. He also earned a pair rookie honors in 2003 as part of the All-Rookie team and the December Defensive Rookie of the Month.
Williams is tied with John Randle for the second most Pro Bowl appearances by a Vikings defensive tackle with six; three behind Alan Page. He holds the Vikings team record for career interceptions by a defensive lineman with four; two of which were returned for touchdowns in 2007.
He was a key component in the Vikings run defense that ranked first or second in the NFL from 2006-2009.
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Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.