We’re pushing our way through the 80s in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers project, and we’ve gotten to the #86. As far as on-the-field production is concerned, there’s literally only one player that’s ever worn the #86 for the Vikings that has done anything of any consequence.
That man is wide receiver Jake Reed.
Reed was a third-round selection of the Vikings out of Grambling in the 1991 NFL Draft. He had just 11 receptions in his first three seasons (including zero in a rookie season that saw him suit up for just one game), but he exploded onto the scene in 1994. That was the first of his four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and he and Cris Carter became the first wide receiver duo to reach that mark in four consecutive seasons.
In those four seasons, he averaged exactly 1,200 yards a season and found the end zone 26 times. He probably would have continued along the same track, but in 1998 the Vikings drafted a fellow by the name of Randy Moss who pushed Reed down to the #3 wide receiver spot. Carter, Moss, and Reed formed the famed “Three Deep” in 1998 with Zombie Randall Cunningham at quarterback, but in the two seasons after the Vikings drafted Moss, Reed had a total of just 1,117 yards and ten touchdowns.
Reed left the Vikings in 2000, but returned to the Vikings in 2001. He was out of the league following the 2002 season. His final numbers for the Vikings totaled 413 receptions for 6,433 yards and 33 touchdowns.
The only other name on the list of #86s in Vikings history that most folks will recognize is former tight end Mike Mularkey. . .but that’s likely based more on his tenure as an NFL head coach than anything he did as a member of the Vikings.
Vikings that have worn the number 86:
- Ray Poage (1963)
- Hal Bedsole (1964 - 1966)
- Marlin McKeever (1967)
- Tom Hall (1968 - 1969)
- Al Denson (1971)
- Rhett Dawson (1973)
- Mike Mularkey (1983 - 1988)
- Norris Brown (1983)
- Willie Gillespie (1987)
- Larry Brown (1987)
- Darryl Ingram (1989)
- Jake Reed (1991 - 1999, 2001)
- John Davis (2000)
- Nick Davis (2003)
- Richard Angulo (2005)
- Stephen Burton (2011)
- Chase Ford (2013 - 2014)
Tomorrow, we move on to the number 85, ladies and gentlemen.