The NFL season just ended over two weeks ago, but there is still plenty for fans to talk about and get excited over.
Free agency is three weeks away and the draft is 64 days away. Fans and writers continue to look at and create their own mock drafts and see who will be the best fits for their favorite teams or any teams for that matter.
The most well-known Minnesota Viking to ever wear no. 64 was guard Randall McDaniel.
McDaniel is not only one of the greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game, but also one of the classiest players to ever play the game.
He was drafted 19th overall in the 1988 draft out of Arizona State. He spent 12 seasons with the Vikings before spending the final two of his career with the Tampa Buccaneers.
During his incredible career, McDaniel was a 12-time Pro Bowler (all consecutively) and a nine-time First-team All-Pro selection (also all consecutively). He was also named to the NFL 1990s team and the 100th anniversary team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. His 12 Pro Bowl selections are tied for a record with Champ Bailey and Will Shields.
His durability was also very impressive. In 14 seasons he only missed two games, and also started in 202 consecutive games. For his career he started in 220 games out of the 222 he appeared in. He appeared in 13 consecutive playoff games for the Vikings as well.
During McDaniel’s 12 seasons with Minnesota, their offense finished in the top-10 seven times (four in the top-five), including second overall in 1998 when they broke the all-time record at the time with 556 total points.
He also blocked for six different 1,000 yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers.
”I’m just a big kid out there playing this kid’s game-we all are grown men playing a kid’s game. It is funny. But it gives you a lot: the contact, the competition, the people you meet, the travel … I love the travel. I’ve been places I never could have seen without football. I just love the game.”
Offensive lineman do not always get the credit they deserve. Vikings fans have grown to be even more appreciative of them these past several seasons.
Given the Vikings will not have a ton of cap space to deal with this offseason, they will need a solid draft if they want to compete for a Super Bowl this season. They had a great draft last season. Can they do it again this year?
Will they draft an offensive lineman in the first round? Defensive lineman? Quarterback for the long-term? Or trade down? It will be very interesting as always.