Fred Strickland – LB (1993)
Two years prior to Broderick Thomas, the Vikings tried another one-year rendezvous at linebacker. This time, they auditioned an underachieving 27-year-old Purdue alumnus. His name was Fred Strickland and he was a backup linebacker on the Los Angeles Rams when Minnesota general manager Jeff Diamond made the move to put him in purple.
Strickland was a tackling menace. He motored his way to 137 tackles in 1993 which trailed only Jack Del Rio, who notched 168. His total ranked 19th in the NFL and even outpaced Junior Seau.
Strickland also recovered four fumbles, which was good for second-best in the league among defenders. Only New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Bankston had more (five).
Minnesota clawed its way into a wild-card contest with Jim McMahon at the helm under center in 1993. The Vikings lost the wild-card contest to the New York Giants 17-10 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Strickland foolishly joined the Green Bay Packers during the proceeding season, Jim McMahon shuffled to Arizona, and the Vikings embarked on The Warren Moon Era.