Editor’s note: As part of NFL’s Greatest Quarterback, fans will decide the best QB in each team’s history.
Fran Tarkenton: Tarkenton was an undersized scrambling quarterback who brought mobility back to the position. He ran for 3,674 yards during his 18-year career and threw for another 47,003. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and won an MVP award in 1975.
Tarkenton led the Vikings to the Super Bowl in 1973, 1974 and 1976, but Minnesota lost all three games. He was the Vikings’ first starting quarterback after he was drafted in the third round in the team’s inaugural 1961 season. Tarkenton had two stints with Minnesota from 1961 to 1966 and again from 1972 to 1978. He’s the Vikings’ career leader in almost all passing categories.
Joe Kapp: Kapp is the only Vikings quarterback to win an NFL championship with Minnesota. His Vikings beat the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship Game in 1969. After losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV, Kapp became a free agent. The Boston Patriots gave him a four-year contract, but he floundered and was out of the league the next season.
Kapp began his career with the CFL after getting drafted in the 18th round of the 1959 NFL draft. He was traded to the Vikings in one of the rare deals between a CFL and NFL team. Kapp was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1984.
Tommy Kramer: Injuries kept Kramer back from fulfilling his promise as an NFL quarterback, but he still turned in a nice career with Minnesota. He was drafted No. 27 overall in 1977 and took over for Tarkenton in 1979.
Kramer led the Vikings to the playoffs three times during his career and was a Pro Bowler in 1986 after compiling 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 3,000 yards and a league-best 92.6 quarterback rating. “Two Minute Tommy” led the Vikings to 16 fourth-quarter comebacks and 20 game-winning drives.
Daunte Culpepper: Culpepper would fit right in with some of the bigger, more mobile quarterbacks of the current era of the NFL. He was 6-foot-4, over 250 pounds and a swift runner. He could also serve as a warning for teams like the Panthers, 49ers and Buccaneers, who have bigger mobile quarterbacks.
Culpepper set an NFL record in 2004 for most combined yards passing and rushing by a quarterback. He had 4,717 yards through the air and another 406 on the ground. He made the playoffs twice with the Vikings and was named to three Pro Bowls. Culpepper blew out his knee in 2005, though, and was never the same passer.
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