Doleman was selected by the Vikings with the fourth overall pick in the 1985 draft as a LB out of Pittsburgh. He made the move to DE toward the end of his second NFL season and went on to lead the Vikings in sacks six times. Doleman had 10 or more sacks eight times in his career and his total of 150.5 sacks ranks fourth all-time in league history. In 1989, he led the NFL with 21.0 sacks, the fourth-most in a single season in NFL history. Doleman's ability to strip the football was legendary, as he notched 45 career forced fumbles and recovered 24
In 15 years in the NFL, Doleman only endured three losing seasons and his teams appeared in the playoffs 10 times. He appeared in the playoffs in each of his final five seasons with three different teams (Atlanta, 1995; San Francisco, 1996-98; Minnesota, 1999). Doleman was known as a very durable player, suiting up for 232 of 237 games in his career. Doleman was named first-team All-Pro three times and first-team All-NFC four times. He is a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2011 and enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.