15 greatest Minnesota Vikings draft picks of all-time

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sylvia Allen/Getty Images) Fran Tarkenton /

Fran Tarkenton – QB

Draft Year: 1961

Draft Selection: Pick No. 29 (Third Round)

There is no argument when it comes to figuring out who is the best quarterback to ever play for the Vikings. Fran Tarkenton is easily the greatest quarterback to ever suit up in a Minnesota unfiorm.

Tarkenton was part of the Vikings’ first-ever draft class in 1961. Nowadays, the No. 29 pick in the draft is regarded as a first-round selection. But in 1961, when there were significantly fewer teams in the league, Tarkenton was a third-round pick despite being the 29th overall selection.

His career with Minnesota actually got off to a bit of a rocky start as the team didn’t even make the playoffs during his first six seasons with the franchise. It wasn’t until Tarkenton returned to the Vikings in 1972 after a five-year stint with the New York Giants that the legendary quarterback started to truly achieve meaningful success in purple and gold.

Minnesota made the playoffs during every season from 1973 to 1978 with Tarkenton as their starting quarterback and three of those trips to the postseason resulted in an appearance in the Super Bowl.

Winner of the 1975 NFL MVP award, Tarkenton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986, and he still holds the Vikings all-time records for career passing yards, career passing touchdowns, and career rushing yards by a quarterback.