There's a bit of nostalgia in the air, as The Athletic is posting a series of articles this week about football in the 1990s.
Of course, one of the stars of the 1990s, even if he was drafted at the end of the decade, is Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
And Moss certainly received some attention from Dane Brugler. The draft analyst went through and named the best picks at each position from each draft in the 1990s, focusing on each round plus an undrafted player.
Moss, the 21st overall pick out of Marshall in the 1998 NFL Draft, was Brugler's choice at first-round wide receiver.
Not many would argue against Moss as the choice in the first round, but he had plenty of company in the discussion. Marvin Harrison (1996) holds dozens of records and has a bust in Canton. Torry Holt (1999) is destined for a spot in the Hall of Fame. Keyshawn Johnson (1996), Terry Glenn (1996), Eric Moulds (1996), Joey Galloway (1995) and Herman Moore (1991) all put together strong careers. But not only was Moss one of the most productive pass catchers ever (he had the fourth-most receiving yards and second-most touchdown receptions), he was one of the most gifted players to ever put on a uniform.
Moss broke out as a rookie with 69 receptions for 1,313 yards and a rookie-record 17 touchdowns that led the NFL.
That was just the precursor to a Hall of Fame career that includes 982 receptions for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdown catches.
Another Hall of Famer who wore Purple also made Brugler's list, but in the undrafted category, as John Randle was selected as the best undrafted defensive tackle from the decade. He entered the NFL in 1990.
With all due respect to Pat Williams (1997) and Tony Siragusa (1990), who had terrific careers as undrafted free agents, the only correct answer for the undrafted category is Randle, who ranks in the top 10 all-time with 137.5 sacks. At 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, the Hall of Famer was considered undersized and a tweener without a position coming out of Texas A&M-Kingsville. But he put on weight and steadily worked his way up the Vikings depth chart over his first few seasons. Randle became a full-time starter in 1992 and ripped off eight straight seasons with double-digit sacks.
Randle spent 11 seasons with the Vikings, racking up 114.0 sacks and recording six consecutive All-Pro and Pro Bowl seasons from 1993-1998.
Other Vikings to make the list included 1991 sixth-round safety Todd Scott and 1998 sixth-round center Matt Birk.
Quarterback Brad Johnson (1992) and running back Terry Allen (1990) were on Brugler's list for seventh-round plus, as the NFL Draft changed to the current seven-round format in 1994.
Brugler's full list of top picks and players from the 1990s can be found here.
ESPN analysts 'worried' about Vikings 0-3 start
The Vikings and Texans are scheduled to meet Sunday in Houston in a battle of 0-3 teams.
ESPN asked five of its analysts which winless team they were most worried about this early in the season.
A trio of experts — Matt Bowen, Kevin Seifert and Seth Walder — went with the Vikings as the team they are most troubled by.
I question the Vikings from a game plan and execution standpoint — on both sides of the ball — after three weeks of the season. And without Danielle Hunter on the field, the lack of a pass rush has exposed some real concerns in a young Minnesota secondary.
The single player on any team who can most power a turnaround is the quarterback. Most of us would choose [Houston's Deshaun] Watson over Kirk Cousins to elevate his team. Both teams have faced difficult schedules — their opponents have combined for two losses all season — but the Vikings don't have the same ability to overcome their deficiencies.
Field Yates of ESPN selected both teams, "but if forced to pick one, I'll go with Minnesota because Houston faced the toughest three-game stretch any team will face in the NFL at any point this season. Losing to the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers is not desirable, but it's also understandable."
While Houston's opponents are a combined 8-1, so too, are Minnesota's opponents. The Packers and Titans are both 3-0, while the Colts are 2-1.
The Vikings are 4-0 all-time against the Texans. Minnesota has played Houston the fewest times of any opponent in franchise history.