NFL Any Era: Adrian Peterson

Hall of Famer Mike Singletary and Adrian Peterson would have classic matchups. MATCHUP GALLERY ESPN.com Illustration

The tenacity and between-the-tackles toughness of Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson appears to have made him a natural selection for ESPN.com's Any Era team, compiled by a panel of 20 Hall of Fame players. A sampling of their thoughts:


"Adrian Peterson is a tough guy. His initials are A.P. yet his nickname is still AD. That’s because he’s going to come at you all day. Adrian is kind of like Jim Brown, but I think he's faster. He's got a tough mentality, and he doesn’t shy away from anything. Guys will block for him, and if they don't he'll run through the defense anyway."


"It’s almost like Adrian Peterson plays like he had a dream the night before that he was going to break a big play. That desire is there every time he touches the ball, that it's going to be a big play. When he gets tackled, he doesn't go down. He's trying his hardest to stay up, telling himself, 'If I can just get my legs free I’m going to score.' That's what makes it fun looking at him and watching him play -- you are expecting the same thing that he is expecting on every play. His desire is visible to everyone out there."


"Adrian Peterson could play in any era. He has the speed and breakaway ability, but he looks for guys to run over. He has classic highlights of pushing defensive backs out of his way and throwing guys out of his way while running the football. He will play hurt and banged up, and I like the way he plays the game. He delivers the blow as opposed to taking the blows as an offensive player."


"Adrian Peterson is tough. Some guys get a fingernail trimmed back and they're done for the day. Others have toes hanging off and they're still out there playing. And he’s in that category."