The 30 greatest Minnesota Vikings players of all-time

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Adrian Peterson
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Adrian Peterson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Fran Tarkenton /

. QB. (1961-66, 1972-78). Fran Tarkenton. 7. player. 60

All-time Greatest Minnesota Vikings: No. 7 – Fran Tarkenton

It’s pretty hard to think about the history of the Vikings without mentioning Fran Tarkenton at least once. He was the first (and possibly the only) franchise quarterback the team ever had.

With the third draft pick in team history, the Vikings selected Tarkenton in the 1961 NFL Draft. He quickly emerged as one of the league’s most dangerous quarterbacks because of his ability to run and pass at a high level.

Minnesota ended up trading him in 1967 to the New York Giants and then the Vikings re-acquired the quarterback from the Giants in 1972. Tarkenton’s second stint with Minnesota is really where he emerged as one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.

With Tarkenton as their starter under center from 1973 to 1976, the Vikings went 43-10-1 and appeared in three Super Bowls. He completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 10,666 yards, 74 touchdowns, and 40 interceptions during that stretch of seasons while also running for six more scores.

Tarkenton went on to play for two more years in Minnesota before retiring in 1979.

To this very day, he still holds numerous Vikings records, including the marks for career passing yards, career touchdown passes, wins, and career rushing yards by a quarterback. As a member of Minnesota’s roster, Tarkenton was voted to the Pro Bowl five times, and he was selected as a First-Team All-Pro in 1975.

The quarterback is a member of the Vikings’ Ring of Honor, he is one of Minnesota’s 50 greatest players of all-time, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.