The Minnesota Vikings, a franchise which saw its debut back in the 1961 season, has failed to ever win a Super Bowl despite appearing in four. However, this does not take away from the fact that they have had some of the most talented players in the history of the league at several positions. The following list displays those who have been the most productive in a Vikings uniform over the course of their career.
1. Alan Page- Defensive Tackle (1967-1978)
Alan Page was one of the founding fathers of the infamous Purple People Eaters, one of the greatest defensive lines in history. Behind this defense led by Page, the Vikings went to four super bowls in the 1970’s. Page recorded 148.5 sacks and recovered 23 fumbles over his professional career, and to this day is the only defensive lineman to ever win MVP, which he did in 1971.
2. Carl Eller- Defensive End (1964-1978)
Another member of the Purple People Eaters, Eller is best known as the Vikings’ all-time sack leader with 130.5. One of history’s “iron men,” Eller played in over 200 games as a Viking and joined Page in the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
3. Fran Tarkenton- Quarterback (1961-1966, 1972-1978)
The first Minnesota Viking to be inducted into the Hall of Fame (1986), Tarkenton was to the Vikings’ offense what Page was to the defense. Known widely as one of the best scrambling quarterbacks of all time, Tarkenton’s 47,003 passing yards and 342 touchdown passes were the most ever by a quarterback when he retired. Tarkenton led the Vikings to three super bowls and is still regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
4. Cris Carter- Wide Receiver (1990-2001)
After years of being denied entry to the Hall of Fame, Carter finally got voted in this year. He is ninth all time in receiving yards (13,899) and fourth in touchdown catches (130) but Carter’s ability to come up big in clutch situations is what Vikings fans remember. Carter was a big reason why the Vikings had success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, despite never getting to a Super Bowl.
5. Chris Doleman- Defensive End (1985-1993, 1999)
Doleman only played nine of his 15 seasons with the Vikings, but in that time he compiled 88.5 sacks, 29 forced fumbles, and 14 fumble recoveries. His 21 sacks in 1989 was the all-time season sack record until Michael Strahan broke it in 2001.
6. Randy Moss- Wide Receiver (1998-2004, 2010)
Moss will go down as the most loved and hated receiver in history. Playing on several different clubs, Moss is ranked third on career receiving yards and second in receiving touchdowns in history. He set the all-time season record with 23 touchdown catches in 2007 and has been on the two highest scoring offenses in history. Despite all these numbers, Moss has never been a part of a super bowl-winning team.
7. John Randle- Defensive Tackle (1990-2000)
Randle is one of the most high-energy players to ever don a Vikings uniform, and the fans shared that energy. Playing 11 seasons with the Vikings, Randle recorded 114 sacks, 25 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries. He went undrafted in the 1990 draft, coming from a Division II program, and was a dominant force his entire Vikings career, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
8. Paul Krause- Safety (1968-1979)
Krause is another Minnesota defensive player who saw much success in the 1970s. To this day, Krause holds the record for interceptions over a career with 81, 53 of which came as a Viking. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
9. Adrian Peterson- Running Back (2007-_)
The only active Viking on this list, Peterson has made it a goal to be the best running back of all time. Running for 2,097 yards last season only helped him, as he is ranked 33 in career rushing yards with 8,849. Already the best running back in Vikings history, Peterson has set his goal for 2013 to be 2,500 yards.
10. Randall McDaniel-Offensive Guard (1988-1999)
McDaniel was the dominant interior lineman of his era, as he paved the way for five 1,000 yard rushers and four 3,000 yard passers. Add to this the fact that he made it to 12 consecutive pro bowls, you undoubtedly have one of the best guards in history, and also, one of the best Vikings.