Cards: Action Packed 1991, Pro Set 1990, GameDay 1992.
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Minnesota Vikings
Chris Doleman was the 4th overall choice of the 1985 draft. Originally drafted as an outside linebacker, Doleman was converted to a defensive end in 1987 and formed a dynamic duo with Keith Millard at DT. The change was immediate as Chris became a force at right end, dominating the sack charts for the next 13 seasons notching at least 7 sacks in each season for the Vikings, Falcons, and 49ers. He was traded to the Falcons after the 1993 season, and played there 2 years before going to the 49ers. In his final season he returned at the grand old age of 38 to the Vikings and notched 8 sacks before retiring. Doleman was named All Pro from 1987-1990, 1992 and 1993, lead the league in sacks with 21 in 1989, and made the Pro Bowl 8 times. His sack totals currently rank him 4th overall in league history and he is listed on the NFL All 90s team. Unfairly cast as a ‘pass rush specialist’ Doleman had a streak of seasons with 90+ tackles (1989-1991) in addition to his high sack totals demonstrating his overall ability against both pass and run.
I sent off for Chris’ autograph in 1992, on a whim not expecting to get his autograph for my collection and received back all 3 cards signed. Most people still don’t respect ‘sackers and tacklers’ but the league over the last few years has made a concerted effort to induct more of them into the HoF. With John Randle’s impending induction scheduled for 2010, the hope is Doleman should be next in the logger jam of defensive sack talent to go in.
In 2011, Chris was honored by the Vikings who selected him to announce their 2nd round pick during the NFL draft.
Games 232 Tac 914 Sac 150.5 Fum 44 Int 8 Yds 121 TD 2
UPDATE 1/30/2020: Chris Doleman passed away overnight at the age of 58. He had been battling brain cancer- and as recently as 2018 had triumphed over having a tumor removed.