The Minnesota Vikings have had a lot of good teams since coming into the NFL in 1961. Even though they haven’t lifted a Lombardi Trophy yet, this is a team that has had a lot of elite players throughout their history. Let’s rank the five best players in Vikings franchise history.
5. John Randle
John Randle is not only one of the best players in franchise history, in terms of how the Vikings got him, he might be the best value in franchise history. Randle was undrafted coming out of Texas A&M University–Kingsville with most believing he was too small to play at the next level. Randle was a standout defensive tackle, that always was in the opponents backfield. Randle only had one sack as a rookie, but the rest of his time with the Vikings, he always had at least eight. Randle’s best season was in 1997 when he racked up 15.5 sacks. He also wasn’t ever afraid to talk trash to his opponents. After he retired Randle was named to the Vikings Ring of Honor, and in 2010 he was elected to the Pro Football of Hall of Fame.
4. Alan Page
Defensive tackle Alan Page was selected 15th overall by the Vikings in the 1967 draft. Page had a unique style of play, lining up at right defensive tackle a place where most would place their right hand on the ground, but instead he put his left. The different style worked for him as he was a terror for opposing teams in his 11 seasons with the Vikings. Page was such a standout with the Vikings he was named the NFL MVP during the 1971 season. He also was apart of all four of the Vikings teams that made an appearance in the Super Bowl.
After retiring, Page was received his law degree, later being apart of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
3. Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson slid to the Vikings during the 2007 draft after he tore his ACL with the Oklahoma Sooners. Not only is Peterson one of the best players in Vikings history, he is one of the best running backs to play in the NFL. Outside of Brett Favre, Peterson didn’t have strong quarterback play, which is a big disappointment, because of his standout play. Peterson’s best season was in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his efforts that season he was named the league’s MVP.
2. Randy Moss
Coming out of Marshall there were some character concerns with Randy Moss, and even though some did creep up during his playing career, he still is the second-best Viking ever. As a rookie in 1998, it didn’t take long for everyone to realize how special a talent Moss is. He played in 16 games, catching 69 passes for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 1998 the Vikings had a team capable of winning the Super Bowl, but lost in the NFC Championship Game. The offense was elite in the early stages of Moss’s tenure with the team. If Minnesota had won a Super Bowl, he would be the top player in franchise history.
1. Fran Tarkenton
The Vikings drafted Fran Tarkenton in the third round of the 1961 draft to be the quarterback to start their franchise. His first go-round with the Vikes, he actually didn’t have a whole lot of success, in terms of team wins and after the 1966 season, he left for the New York Giants. Before the 1971 season, he left the Giants to go back to the Vikings. Tarkenton’s best season was in 1975 when he led the Vikings to a 12-2 record throwing for 2,994 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was named the offensive player of the year and MVP for his success. The Vikings retired Tarkenton’s number 10 number.