Ross Cooper “Rip” Hawkins was the second player ever to be drafted into the Minnesota Vikings organization. In 1961, he was their second round pick (15th overall) out of Sewanee Military Academy and North Carolina as a middle linebacker.
According to The Tennessean, Hawkins has passed away at the age of 76.
Coach Norm Van Brocklin named Hawkins the captain of the defense and quarterback Fran Tarkenton (the third draft pick that year) the captain on offense. Hawkins played five NFL seasons and was sent to the Pro Bowl after one of those seasons.
He is credited with twelve career interceptions, returning three of those for scores, and four fumble recoveries.
Hawkins retired after Lonnie Warwick took his place on the depth chart.