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You Can Have One Vikings Player Back From The Past For 2018: Who Ya Got?

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The Vikings are a really strong team, but could upgrade at a position or two. Who’s an all-time great Vikings player you’d plug in?

Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

Poll

You can put one former Vikings player on the 2018 Vikings. Who is it?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Randall McDaniel
    (1226 votes)
  • 39%
    Randy Moss
    (1459 votes)
  • 10%
    Ron Yary
    (380 votes)
  • 4%
    Fran Tarkenton
    (165 votes)
  • 1%
    Chris Doleman
    (66 votes)
  • 1%
    Scott Studwell
    (40 votes)
  • 6%
    Joey Browner
    (236 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (Explain in comments)
    (140 votes)
3712 votes total Vote Now

With some savvy and bold moves in free agency and another good draft, the Minnesota Vikings are considered by almost everyone in NFL circles as a team that is on the short list for making it to the Super Bowl. Yet, there are still some positions that could use an upgrade. You could make a case for upgrades at positions on both sides of the ball, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong if you picked one of several positions that you think still needs an upgrade.

So, here are the ground rules: You can pick one player from Vikings history, in their prime, and plug him in to the 2018 roster. Who would you pick? Why?

I’m going to throw out some players, and give you my reasons as to why I think they’d be a good fit. From there, you get to vote. And hey, I’ll even give you an ‘other’ option, and in the comments you can tell me why none of my choices wee right. So, lets get to it.

Randall McDaniel, G:

Let’s go with the assumption that Pat Elflein will return healthy and back as the starting center for 2018.

/reads report that Elflein has back spasms

/chokes on beer

/just kidding...he doesn’t have back spasms as far as I know

Anyway, assuming Elflein comes back, that kicks Nick Easton back to LG, and, depending on who you believe, Mike Remmers at RG with Rashod Hill at RT. If you think Remmers is the answer at RG and Hill will be okay at RT, then there’s really only one unproven spot left on the line, and that’s LG.

And there is literally no better LG in Vikings history than Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel. He was one of the most dominant offensive linemen in NFL history, missed two games in his entire NFL career, and was an NFL All-Pro for 12 straight seasons.

Randy Moss, WR

‘Ted’, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Moss? Come on, man. Moss was awesome, don’t get me wrong. But Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the best best WR tandem in the NFL, or at least a top three. What does Moss bring to the table here?’

What DOESN’T Moss bring is the question we should be asking. After the 1997 season, the Vikings had two of the best receivers in the game in Cris Carter and Jake Reed. Drafting Moss was a huge gamble in more ways than one, and for a lot of folks drafting the future GOAT didn’t make sense, as the Vikes had a lot of needs elsewhere.

I was one of those ‘drafting Moss doesn’t make sense’ people. We were all stupid.

Moss transformed the Vikings offense into the most prolific offense in NFL history, and the Vikings steamrolled to a 15-1 record. I can’t see a downside in adding the greatest wide receiver in NFL history to an offense that was a top 10 unit in 2017, with a better QB throwing the ball in 2018. None. Zero. Zilch.

Ron Yary, T

Okay, let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you’re fine with Easton at LG, but you’re uncomfortable with Rashod Hill at RT...again we’re assuming Remmers going to G is a given here. In that case, then who better to play RT than Hall of Famer Yary? He was a stalwart on the great Vikings teams of the 1970’s, and went to Canton in 2001. He opened holes for Chuck Foreman, allowed Fran Tarkenton enough time to put up ridiculous numbers for his time, and was an All Pro starter for just about his entire 14 year career.

Fran Tarkenton, QB

How are you feeling about Kirk Cousins? I’ll admit, I was leery about spending that much money on a guy that has a career losing record as a starter (QB WINZ, I know) and has maybe a bit of an Eddie Haskell feel to him. The Vikes paid a lot of money for him, and there’s still a fair amount of unknowns with Cousins at the helm.

But he’s won me over. The guy has a strong arm, isn’t called Captain Comeback just because it’s a cool nickname, and is in what might be the perfect situation for him. I’m really excited to see what he can do in this offense, and I really, really like how he’s handled himself since he’s been in Minnesota.

But...you know...Saint Francis of Bloomington had pretty much the same setup back in the 70’s, and when he retired he owned every major passing record in NFL history. Strong running game, All-Pro wide receivers, statistically great defense...a known quantity like Tark might be a better bet than Cousins.

Chris Doleman, DE

I don’t mean to disrespect some of the other great defensive ends in Vikes history, like Carl Eller and Jim Marshall, but Doleman would probably be the best fit in a Mike Zimmer defense. He sets the edge on containment better than Eller or Marshall did, his closing speed on the QB is incredible, and a rotation of him, Danielle Hunter, and Everson Griffen would be damn near unfair.

Scott Studwell, LB

I am of the opinion that Scott Studwell is the best linebacker in Vikings history. He was better than Chad Greenway, who played for Mike Zimmer the last couple years of his career. I also remember Zimmer saying how he had wished he had Greenway early in his career...and that makes me think that if Studwell played for Zimmer in his prime, he’d be as legendary a player as Jack Lambert or Mike Singletary.

There have been some legendary combinations in history--peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Forrest and Jenny--but Zim and Studwell would be tough to top.

Joey Browner, S

Andrew Sendejo has really stepped up his game in the last two seasons, and has become a pretty good counterpart to Harrison Smith. But...yeah...Joey Browner and The Hitman in the same secondary, both in the prime of their career. Just let that sentence marinade for awhile, soak into the meat, and roll around in the synapses of your brain.

Mercy.

This isn’t a knock on Hall of Fame S Paul Krause, either. He‘s the NFL‘s all time interception leader, and if there‘s a record in the NFL that won‘t ever be broken, it‘s probably Krause‘s 81 career pick-offs....but Krause wasn’t known as a tough nosed tackler. Joey Browner though...well, he’d take your head off for coming in to his territory, and the thought of him and Harrison Smith bringing the pain to the rest of the NFL makes me a little tingly all over, if I’m being completely honest. That takes a top defense and makes it even better, and holy smokes, that’s something to think about.

Anyway, those are just some names I’ve thought of that might be able to help the 2018 Vikings. Good choices, bad choices, different choices?

WHO YA GOT?