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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #79

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One pretty clear standout for this one

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When you think of big-time numbers in the history of the Minnesota Vikings, the #79 probably doesn’t immediately jump to the forefront of your mind. But there have been a couple of notable players that have worn it over the years.

The first 79 in team history was defensive tackle Jim Prestel, who came to the Vikings in 1961 and started at defensive tackle in the first 56 games in team history, starting in every game from 1961 to 1964. Prestel was well before my time, so I can’t say I know a whole lot about him other than what the stat sheet tells me, but Pro Football Reference gives him an Approximate Value of 22, which is the second-highest of all the #79s in team history.

The most productive #79 to play for the Vikings would likely be defensive end Doug Martin, who roamed the front lines of the Minnesota defense from 1980 to 1989. A terror as a pass rusher, Martin led the NFL in sacks in 1982 with 11.5. . .in a nine-game, strike-shortened season. He actually followed that up with 13 sacks the next season, but that was only good enough for 9th in the NFL in that category that year. In his ten year Vikings’ career, he collected 50.5 sacks.

In the days when the Vikings were in “salary cap hell,” Kenny Mixon was considered a big time signing for the Vikings. He wasn’t spectacular in his three seasons with the Vikings, collecting 12 sacks from 2002 to 2004, but he wouldn’t be anyone you’d classify as historically great or anything.

The Vikings appeared to have a solid offensive line find in Mike Harris, who they acquired in a trade from the San Diego Chargers before the start of the 2014 season. Harris played pretty well for the Vikings in his two years with the team, but then a mysterious ailment caused him to miss the 2016 season, and the team ultimately released him earlier this offseason.

That’s really just about it for notable #79s in team history.

Vikings that have worn the number 79:

Jim Prestel (1961 - 1965)

Chuck Arrobio (1966)

Lyman Smith (1978)

Doug Martin (1980 - 1989)

Roosevelt Nix (1994)

Kenny Mixon (2002 - 2004)

Toniu Fonoti (2005)

Artis Hicks (2006 - 2008)

Patrick Brown (2011)

Mike Harris (2014 - 2016)

Poll

Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 79?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Mike Harris (2014 - 2016)
    (25 votes)
  • 84%
    Doug Martin (1980 - 1989)
    (697 votes)
  • 2%
    Kenny Mixon (2002 - 2004)
    (18 votes)
  • 10%
    Jim Prestel (1961 - 1965)
    (83 votes)
823 votes total Vote Now

We will be on to the #78 tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen!