NFL defensive ends have varied responsibilities on the field; they have to contain runners with the ball to the inside - no one should get to their outside. They must be able to shed blockers to get to the ball and make tackles behind the line, as well as shut down screen passes. Most importantly they have to pressure quarterbacks on passing plays, either sacking them for a loss or hurrying them into throwing an incompletion or interception.
Some of the Vikings' defensive ends have been the best in NFL history. Here are
the top five:
5) Doug Martin: A former first round pick, Martin started and ended his
career with the team on controversial notes, but was a pretty good player on
the field during the early and mid-1980's. He played in 126 games, starting 94,
and his 60.5 sacks rank seventh in team history.
4) Jared Allen: Named to the Pro Bowl four times
in his six years with the team, Allen's 88.5 sacks place him sixth in team
history. He also intercepted 4 passes, forced 16 fumbles, recovered 9, and
registered 4 safeties while starting all 96 games he appeared in at right end.
3) Chris Doleman: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Doleman played
in 154 games, starting 142, in 10 seasons with the Vikings. He leads the team
with 33 forced fumbles, fifth in sacks with 96.5, sixth in fumble recoveries with 16, and seventh in
tackles-for-loss with 60. He also intercepted
five passes, scored two touchdowns, and recorded two safeties.
2) Jim Marshall: Starting all 270 games in which he played as a
Viking at right defensive end from 1961-1979, Marshall is second in team
history with 127 QB sacks, first with 29 fumble recoveries, and fourth in
tackle-for-loss with 74. A two time Pro Bowl selection, he deserves to be in
the Hall of Fame.
1) Carl Eller: The team's all-time leader in QB sacks with 130,
Eller was selected to six Pro Bowls. He ranks second in tackles-for-loss with
87, second in fumble recoveries with 23, and seventh in forced fumbles with 15.
He also blocked 15 kicks. Eller played in 209 games, fourth in team history,
and started 201 from 1964-1978. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in
2004, an honor that was long overdue. Eller is the best defensive end in
Vikings' history as well as one of the NFL's all time bests.
source for statistics: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/