Randall McDaniel Minnesota Vikings & Tampa Bay Buccaneers
'I'm just a big kid out there playing this kid's game-we all are grown men playing a kid's game. It is funny. But it gives you a lot: the contact, the competition, the people you meet, the travel ... I love the travel. I've been places I never could have seen without football. I just love the game."
The Minnesota Vikings used their first round selection (19th overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft on guard Randall McDaniel, an All-America and four-year starter from Arizona State. McDaniel, who immediately earned a starting role with the Vikings, played in all 16 games in his rookie season, 15 as a starter. His efforts were recognized that year as he was selected to several all-rookie teams and named a second-team All-NFC pick.
McDaniel continued to excel the following season as he embarked on a streak of 202 consecutive starts that continued through the end of his career. He also earned the first of 12 straight Pro Bowl berths.
In 1994, McDaniel was the leader of a rock solid offensive line that held opponents to just one sack every 22.7 pass attempts, the second-best ratio in team history. In 1996, coaches felt he was so talented that he could be used in ways other than just blocking. In a late season game against the Arizona Cardinals, McDaniel had two goal line carries. Then, in the Pro Bowl a couple months later, he caught a touchdown pass, becoming the first guard in AFC-NFC Pro Bowl history to accomplish such a feat.
The 1998 season was highlighted by the high-scoring attack of the Vikings offense that scored a then-record 556 points. Showing his skill at both pass and run blocking, McDaniel allowed only 1.5 sacks all season while clearing run lanes for Minnesota running backs to average 5.4 yards per carry on his side of the line.
After earning nine straight first-team all-pro selections (1990-98) and starting 13 consecutive playoff games for the Vikings, McDaniel joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two final seasons (2000-01) before retiring from the NFL.
Adding to an already talented offense, McDaniel in his first season with the Bucs, helped pave the way for a team that rushed for 2,066 yards. That included a team single-game record 250 yards rushing against the Dallas Cowboys. For his efforts, McDaniel was named to his final Pro Bowl.
In all, McDaniel blocked for six different 1,000-yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers during his 14-season career. Regarded as one of the finest offensive linemen in NFL history, McDaniel was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.