After a couple of lists of all-time greats on the offensive side of the ball, Gil Brandt of NFL.com has shifted to the defensive side, putting together his list of the greatest defensive tackles of all time. There are three prominent Minnesota Vikings on his list of 31, which is good.
Where they sit on the list? Well. . .I have issues with this.
The first one we see on the list is actually a bit of a surprise, or at least it was to me. Brandt has Keith Millard at #22 on his list. Millard’s time with the Vikings was cut short by injuries, but his star burned incredibly bright during his time with Minnesota. He still holds the record for sacks in a season by a defensive tackle with 18, a figure he recorded in 1989 when he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. However, after his injury, he never really regained his form and bounced around with a few other teams before retiring.
The next one is where I have my biggest issue with the list, I think. At #13, Brandt names. . .Alan Page.
Yeah, apparently there are twelve defensive tackles in NFL history better than Alan Page, at least according to Brandt.
I find this assumption to be ludicrous, quite frankly. Granted, a lot of the players on Brandt’s list that he has ahead of Page are guys that played well before my time, and well before the time of most of you that will read this. But come on. . .seriously? I did a Ctrl-F search on the page with Brandt’s list on it, and when I typed in “NFL MVP,” only one guy had that entry next to his name.
I’m not sure if there are two defensive tackles in the history of the National Football League better than Alan Page. I damn sure don’t think there are twelve.
One of the twelve listed ahead of Page is John Randle, who checks in at #8. Randle, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame a few years ago, is on the short list of the greatest undrafted free agents in NFL history, and was one of the truly great defensive tackles of his era, to be certain.
But yeah, I can’t quite get behind this list from Brandt quite the way I could some of the other ones, particularly as to how it relates to the Minnesota Vikings. It’s good that the three guys that made the list are on there, but the low ranking for Page is really kind of a downer on this one.