When I put together the introduction for this Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series last week, I stated that players that were either in the Hall of Fame or had their numbers retired were virtual locks that would be recognized without a debate. And in just about every other case when it comes to this endeavor, that’s going to be the case.
The number 93, on the other hand?
Because, well, it’s not every day that a team has a debate like this between a guy that has already found his way to Canton, and one that should probably find his way there someday.
With all due respect to the other players in Vikings’ history that have worn #93, this one really comes down to two players.
In this corner, from Texas A&M-Kingsville, standing 6’1" and weighing in at 290 pounds, Pro Football Hall of Famer. . .John Randle!
And in the other corner, from Oklahoma State University, standing 6’3" and weighing 315 pounds, future Pro Football Hall of Famer. . .Kevin Williams!
Let’s check the tale of the tape:
|John Randle||vs||Kevin Williams|
|290 lb||Weight||315 lb|
|Undrafted||Drafted||First round, #9 overall|
|11 (1990 - 2000)||Seasons in Minnesota||11 (2003 - 2013)|
|114||Sacks w/ Minnesota||60|
|6 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)||First-Team All-Pro||5 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)|
There's really a very solid case to be made for either player. When it comes to sheer numbers, Randle pretty clearly has the advantage here. He had nearly twice as many sacks in his Vikings' career than Williams did. He also had one more First-Team All-Pro nod than Williams had.
While Randle was one of the premiere pass rushers of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time from the defensive tackle position, I think you could really make the case that Williams may have been a better all-around defensive tackle than Randle was. While Randle could terrorize opposing quarterbacks like few others, he was never really known for his prowess against the run. Williams, along with his partner-in-crime Pat Williams, was a leader of one of the most fearsome run defenses in recent NFL history.
Vikings' fans have been fortunate to see both of these players be a part of the team's defense over the years. I'm going to let the debate play itself out in the comments, but these are really the only two guys worth mentioning.
Vikings that have worn the number 93:
- Jimmy Walker (1987)
- John Randle (1990 - 2000)
- Stalin Colinet (2001)
- Darius Holland (2002)
- Kevin Williams (2003 - 2013)
- Shamar Stephen (2014 - present)
So, with that, ladies and gentlemen. . .have at it!