A lightning fast defensive end, Chris Doleman terrorized left tackles for 15 seasons for Minnesota, Atlanta and San Francisco. Drafted fourth overall in the 1985 NFL Draft out of Pitt, Doleman started his career as an outside linebacker before moving to defensive end in 1987. The move served him well. An agile pass rusher with a tremendous burst, Doleman earned his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selections in 1987 after finishing with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles. An eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro, Doleman had one of the best seasons for a defensive end in NFL history for a in 1989. Doleman finished with 94 tackles, 21 sacks (one short of Mark Gastineau's single-season record of 22), and five forced fumbles. Even with his spectacular stats, Doleman did not win 1989 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, instead losing to his teammate, defensive tackle Keith Millard. Doleman finished with eight seasons of at least 11 sacks and forced a fumble every year except his rookie season. He would finish his career with 150.5 career sacks, good for fourth on the all-time sack list when he retired.
Text: Gabriel Baumgaertner
Photo: Tom Olmscheid/AP