Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton left his mark on the NFL and fans, but where does he rank among the NFL’s elite at the position?
All it takes is one mention of the name Fran Tarkenton and images of the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback fondly come rushing to the heads to fans who understand the impact he made on the franchise or got to watch his magic on the field.
“The Mad Scrambler” leads the Vikings in all-time passing yards at 33,098 as well as holds the franchise record for touchdown passes, having thrown 239 scores. He also ranks 12th in franchise history in rushing yards with 2548 and tied for 11th in rushing touchdown by scoring 22 times on the ground.
There is no denying his role with the Vikings and place in franchise history, but where does Tarkenton rank among the all-time greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the National Football League?
That was the question posed by NFL.com analyst Gil Brant in a recent article where he ranked the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, including 16 of the best players ever to play the position in the history of the league.
On his list, Tarkenton landed in the 14th spot on the countdown, ahead of Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly and current New Orleans Saints passer Drew Brees. Statistics are included on the list, but no reasoning for the ranking was added.
Tarkenton is ranked behind two other players who suited up for the Vikings, Warren Moon and Brett Favre. Other great passers ahead of him make sense, with Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Peyton Manning.
However, there are some questionable choices ahead of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Fran Tarkenton. Sammy Baugh is an NFL great, but his place on the list ahead of Fran is questionable and placing Otto Graham at number four is bold.
Even bolder is the decision to make current New England Patriots passer Tom Brady the number one quarterback of all time and not include Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers at all, considering it is debatable which is the best quarterback currently in the league.
No matter where he is ranked among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, it’s great to see some love for former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton by the NFL media, especially considering he didn’t win a Super Bowl during his career.