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All-Time Teams: Minnesota Vikings



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Minnesota Vikings All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1961

Record: 503-421-11 (54.44 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 21-30

Super Bowls Won: 0 (Lost in 1969, 1973, 1974 and 1976)

Pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships Won: 1 (1969)

Passing Leader: Fran Tarkenton 2,635/4,569 | 33,098 Yds | 239 TD

Rushing Leader: Adrian Peterson 2,418 Att | 11,747 Yds | 97 TD

Receiving Leader: Cris Carter 1,004 Rec | 12,383 Yds | 110 TD

Sack Leader: Carl Eller 130.5 Sk

Interception Leader: Paul Krause 53 Int

Scoring Leader: Fred Cox 1,365 Points

Winningest Coach: Bud Grant 158-96-5


QB: Fran Tarkenton (1961-1966, 1972-1978)

Record: 91-73-6 | 57.7 Cmp% | 33,098 Yds | 239 TD | 194 Int | 2,548 Rush Yds | 22 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1975, 1976 and 1978 (273, 255, 345) | Led League in Cmp% 1977 (60.1%) | Led League in Yds 1978 (3,468) | Led League in TD 1975 (25) | Led League in Yds/G 1978 (216.8) | 5x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 74, 75, 76) | 1x All-Pro (75) | 1975 MVP | 1975 Offensive Player of the Year | 1975 Bert Bell | 1973, 1974 and 1976 NFC Champion | Hall of Fame Class 1986


Fran Tarkenton is the only real choice at quarterback for the All-Time Vikings. Tarkenton was the most prolific passer of his era and was one of the first quarterbacks to use his legs as a weapon as well. He's still the franchise leader in passing and led the league in completions three times, completion percentage once, yards once, touchdowns once and yards per game once as well. Tarkenton is easily one of the greatest to ever live and too often gets overlooked in discussions of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. At his retirement, Tarkenton had completed more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than anyone else in history. He also held the records for rushing yards and touchdowns by a quarterback as well. The only thing missing from his resume is a Super Bowl victory, though he did guide the Vikings to three appearances. Tarkenton was voted to five Pro-Bowls, one All-Pro Team and was named both the 1975 MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Joe Kapp (1967-1969) | Record: 23-12-3 | 50.2 Cmp% | 4,807 Yds | 37 TD | 47 Int | 540 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (69) | 1969 NFL Champion

  2. Tommy Kramer (1977-1989) | Record: 54-56 | 55.1 Cmp% | 24,775 Yds | 159 TD | 157 Int | 531 Rush Yds | 8 Rush TD | Led League in QB Rating 1986 (92.6) | 1x Pro-Bowl (86) | 1986 Comeback Player of the Year

  3. Wade Wilson (1981-1991) | Record: 27-21 | 55.8 Cmp% | 12,135 Yds | 66 TD | 75 Int | 679 Rush Yds | 9 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1988 (61.4%) | Led League in Yds/A 1987 (8) | 1x Pro-Bowl (88)

  4. Warren Moon (1994-1996) | Record: 21-18 | 60.7 Cmp% | 10,102 Yds | 58 TD | 42 Int | 143 Rush Yds | Led League in Cmp 1995 (377) | 2x Pro-Bowl (94, 95) | Hall of Fame Class 2006

  5. Brad Johnson (1994-1998, 2005-2006) | Record: 28-18 | 62 Cmp% | 11,098 Yds | 65 TD | 48 Int | 368 Rush Yds | 2 Rush TD

  6. Randall Cunningham (1997-1999) | Record: 16-7 | 59.9 Cmp% | 5,680 Yds | 49 TD | 23 Int | 317 Rush Yds | 1 Rush TD | Led League in QB Rating 1998 (106) | 1x Pro-Bowl (98) | 1x All-Pro (98) | 1998 Bert Bell

  7. Daunte Culpepper (1999-2006) | Record: 38-42 | 64.4 Cmp% | 20,162 Yds | 135 TD | 86 Int | 2,476 Rush Yds | 29 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2004 (379) | Led League in Yds 2004 (4,717) | Led League in TD 2000 (33) | Led League in Yds/G 2004 (294.8) | 3x Pro-Bowl (00, 03, 04)

  8. Brett Favre (2009-2010) | Record: 17-12 | 65.2 Cmp% | 6,711 Yds | 44 TD | 26 Int | 1x Pro-Bowl (09) | Hall of Fame Class 2016

  9. Kirk Cousins (2018-Present) | Record: 33-29-1 | 68.3 Cmp% | 16,387 Yds | 124 TD | 36 Int | 457 Rush Yds | 4 Rush TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (19, 21)


RB: Adrian Peterson (2007-2016)

4.9 Yds/A | 11,747 Yds | 97 TD | 241 Rec | 1,945 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 2008, 2012 and 2015 (1,760, 2,097, 1,485) | Led League in TD 2009 and 2015 (18, 11) | Led League in Yds/G 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2015 (95.8, 110, 131.1, 92.8) | Led League in YScm 2008 and 2012 (1,885, 2,314) | Led League in RRTD 2009 (18) | 7x Pro-Bowl (07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 15) | 4x All-Pro (08, 09, 12, 15) | 2012 MVP | 2007 Offensive Rookie of the Year | 2008 and 2012 Bert Bell | 2012 Offensive Player of the Year | 2012 Comeback Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Another easy choice here. Adrian Peterson is probably the best running back of the past decade. He led the league in yards three times, touchdowns twice, yards per game four times, yards from scrimmage twice and combined rushing and receiving touchdowns once. Most famously in 2012, Peterson returned from an ACL tear to rush for the second most yards in a single season in NFL history and win the MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year awards. He was voted to seven Pro-Bowls, four All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. Peterson currently ranks fifth in yards and fourth in touchdowns in NFL history and will surely be a first ballot Hall of Famer.


RB: Chuck Foreman (1973-1979)

3.8 Yds/A | 5,887 Yds | 52 TD | 336 Rec | 3,057 Rec Yds | 23 Rec TD | Led League in Rec 1975 (73) | Led League in RRTD 1974 and 1976 (15, 14) | 5x Pro-Bowl (73, 74, 75, 76, 77) | 1x All-Pro (75) | 1973 Offensive Rookie of the Year


The Vikings have a few other good running backs in their history and I'm going with Chuck Foreman here. Foreman was voted to five straight Pro-Bowls from 1973-1977 and named to the All-Pro Team in 1975. He led the league in receptions in 1975 and in combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in both 1974 and 1975. Foreman isn't quite a Hall of Famer, but he was very good in his seven seasons in Minnesota and will make a solid starter here.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Tommy Mason (1961-1966) | 4.3 Yds/A | 3,252 Yds | 28 TD | 151 Rec | 1,689 Rec Yds | 11 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (62, 63, 64) | 1x All-Pro (63)

  2. Bill Brown (1962-1974) | 3.5 Yds/A | 5,757 Yds | 52 TD | 284 Rec | 3,177 Rec Yds | 23 Rec TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 67, 68)

  3. Dave Osborn (1965-1975) | 3.7 Yds/A | 4,320 Yds | 29 TD | 173 Rec | 1,412 Rec Yds | 7 Rec | 1x Pro-Bowl (70)

  4. Ted Brown (1979-1986) | 4.1 Yds/A | 4,546 Yds | 40 TD | 339 Rec | 2,850 Rec Yds | 13 Rec TD

  5. Darrin Nelson (1982-1989, 1991-1992) | 4.3 Yds/A | 4,231 Yds | 18 TD | 251 Rec | 2,202 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1987 (4.9)

  6. Robert Smith (1993-2000) | 4.8 Yds/A | 6,818 Yds | 32 TD | 178 Rec | 1,292 Rec Yds | 6 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (98, 00)

  7. Dalvin Cook (2017-Present) | 4.7 Yds/A | 4,820 Yds | 39 TD | 182 Rec | 1,499 Rec Yds | 3 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (19, 20, 21)


WR: Randy Moss (1998-2004, 2010)

587 Rec | 9,316 Yds | 92 TD | Led League in TD 1998, 2000 and 2003 (17, 15, 17) | 5x Pro-Bowl (98, 99, 00, 02, 03) | 3x All-Pro (98, 00, 03) | 1998 Offensive Rookie of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2018


Wide receiver is one of the strongest positions for the Vikings. First up is Randy Moss. Moss took the league by storm in 1998 when he led the league in touchdowns and was named to the Pro-Bowl and All-Pro Teams and named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He would go on to lead the league in touchdowns two more times with the Vikings and was voted to five total Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams. He had at least 1,200 yards in six seasons and at least 10 touchdowns in six as well. Moss is currently fourth in yards and second in touchdowns in NFL history. He was named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

WR: Cris Carter (1990-2001)

1,004 Rec | 12,383 Yds | 110 TD | Led League in Rec 1994 (122) | Led League in TD 1995, 1997 and 1999 (17, 13, 13) | 8x Pro-Bowl (93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00) | 2x All-Pro (94, 99) | 1999 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2013


From one great wide receiver to the next. Cris Carter is the franchiser leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He led the league in receptions once and touchdowns three different times. Carter is known for his hands of glue and his uncanny ability to catch the ball with one hand. He was voted to eight straight Pro-Bowls from 1993-2000 and the All-Pro Team in both 1994 and 1999. Carter was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.


WR: Anthony Carter (1985-1993)

478 Rec | 7,636 Yds | 52 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1987 (24.3) | 3x Pro-Bowl (87, 88, 89)


After Carter and Moss, there's a little bit of a drop off at the position. There are still a few players that were very good in Minnesota, including Anthony Carter. Carter had just under 8,000 yards and 52 touchdowns during his years in Minnesota. He led the league in receptions in 1987 and was named to three straight Pro-Bowls from 1987-1989. Ahmad Rashad was a very close second here.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ray Flatley (1963-1967) | 202 Rec | 3,222 Yds | 17 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (66) | 1963 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  2. Gene Washington (1967-1972) | 172 Rec | 3,087 Yds | 23 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (69, 70) | 1x All-Pro (69)

  3. John Gilliam (1972-1975) | 165 Rec | 3,297 Yds | 27 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1972 (22) | 4x Pro-Bowl (72, 73, 74, 75)

  4. Ahmad Rashad (1976-1982) | 400 Rec | 5,489 Yds | 34 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (78, 79, 80, 81)

  5. Sammy White (1976-1985) | 393 Rec | 6,400 Yds | 50 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (76, 77) | 1976 Rookie of the Year

  6. Jake Reed (1991-1999, 2001) | 413 Rec | 6,433 Yds | 33 TD

  7. Percy Harvin (2009-2012) | 280 Rec | 3,302 Yds | 20 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (09) | 2009 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  8. Adam Thielen (2014-Present) | 464 Rec | 5,966 Yds | 49 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (17, 18)

  9. Justin Jefferson (2020-Present) | 196 Rec | 3,016 Yds | 17 TD | Led League in Yds/Tch 2021 (14.3) | 2x Pro-Bowl (20, 21)


TE: Steve Jordan (1982-1994)

498 Rec | 6,307 Yds | 28 TD | 6x Pro-Bowl (86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91)


At tight end I'm going with one of the more overlooked tight ends in history. Jordan had at least 500 yards in seven seasons and racked up a career high 859 yards in 1986. He was voted to six straight Pro-Bowls from 1986-1991 and is the franchise leader in receiving yards amongst tight ends.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Kyle Rudolph (2011-2020) | 453 Rec | 4,488 Yds | 48 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (12, 17)

OT: Ron Yary (1968-1981)

Started 180 of 199 | 7x Pro-Bowl (71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77) | 6x All-Pro (71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2001


First up on the offensive line is the great Ron Yary. Yary started every game in 10 if his 14 seasons in Minnesota, starting a total of 180 games. He was named to seven straight Pro-Bowls from 1971-1977 and six straight All-Pro Teams from 1971-1976. Yary is one of the best offensive tackles in NFL history and was named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.


OT: Grady Alderman (1961-1974)

Started 176 of 193 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 69) | 1x All-Pro (69)


The other starting offensive tackle is Grady Alderman. Alderman started over 170 games from 1961-1974, including starting every game in 10 seasons. He was named to six Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team. Alderman has a Hall of Fame worthy resume, but it doesn't appear he'll ever be inducted. I almost went with Gary Zimmerman here, but Alderman started in almost seventy more games so I'm going with him. Plus, that means Zimmerman can be a starter for the All-Time Broncos, so that should make Broncos fans happy.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Steve Riley (1974-1984) | Started 128 of 138 Games

  2. Tim Irwin (1981-1993) | Started 181 of 188 Games

  3. Gary Zimmerman (1986-1992) | Started 108 of 108 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (87, 88, 89, 92) | 2x All-Pro (87, 88) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2008

  4. Todd Steussie (1994-2000) | Started 111 of 111 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (97, 98)

  5. Korey Stringer (1995-2000) | Started 91 of 93 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (00)

  6. Bryant McKinnie (2002-2010) | Started 131 of 132 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (09)


OG: Randall McDaniel (1988-1999)

Started 188 of 190 Games | 11x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) | 7x All-Pro (90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2009


Randall McDaniel is first up at offensive guard and let's just say he was a BEAST! McDaniel started 188 games in Minnesota and was named to 11 straight Pro-Bowls from 1989-1999. He was also named to seven different All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. McDaniel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.


OG: Steve Hutchinson (2006-2011)

Started 89 of 89 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (06, 07, 08, 09) | 3x All-Pro (07, 08, 09) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2020


Steve Hutchinson is the other starting guard for the All-Time Vikings, making this one of the best offensive lines of all the all-time teams. Hutchinson started every game in four seasons and started a total of 89 games during his years in Minnesota. He was voted to four Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team. Hutchinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Milt Sunde (1964-1974) | Started 112 of 147 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (66)

  2. Ed White (1969-1977) | Started 93 of 122 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (75, 76, 77)

  3. Wes Hamilton (1976-1984) | Started 92 of 116 Games

  4. David Dixon (1994-2004) | Started 134 of 152 Games


C: Mick Tingelhoff (1962-1978)

Started 240 of 240 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69) | 5x All-Pro (64, 65, 66, 68, 69) | Hall of Fame Class 2015


Mick Tingelhoff is the starting center here. He makes four out of five offensive linemen who are in the Hall of Fame for the All-Time Vikings. It could have been five out of five with Zimmerman, but I'm still sticking to my guns with Alderman. Now back to Tingelhoff. He started an absurd 240 straight games for Minnesota from 1962-1978, never missing a game during his 17 seasons. Tingelhoff was voted to six Pro-Bowls and five All-Pro Teams. He wasn't inducted into the Hall of Fame until 2015, which is one of the most outrages oversights in Hall of Fame history, but late is better than never.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Dennis Swilley (1977-1987) | Started 101 of 139 Games

  2. Jeff Christy (1993-1999) | Started 92 of 101 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (98, 99)

  3. Matt Birk (1998-2008) | Started 123 of 146 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (00, 01, 03, 04, 06, 07)

  4. John Sullivan (2008-2014) | Started 93 of 109 Games


DE: Carl Eller (1964-1978)

1 Int | 23 FR | 130.5 Sk | Led League in Sk 1969 (15) | 6x Pro-Bowl (68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74) | 5x All-Pro (68, 69, 70, 71, 73) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2004


Now on to the Purple People Eaters. First up at defensive end is Carl Eller. Eller holds the franchise record in sacks with 130.5 and led the league in sacks in 1969 with 15. He had at least 10 sacks in seven different seasons and was named to six Pro-Bowls and five All-Pro Teams. Eller was also named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team, as he was one of the best defenders on one of the best defenses of the decade. Much like Tingelhoff, Eller was overlooked by Hall of Famers until finally being inducted in 2004.


DE: Chris Doleman (1985-1993, 1999)

5 Int | 31 FF | 16 FR | 96.5 Sk | 749 Tackles | Led League in Sk 1989 (21) | Led League in FF 1987 (6) | 6x Pro-Bowl (87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93) | 2x All-Pro (89, 92) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2012


I almost went with Jared Allen here, but I ultimately went with Chris Doleman. Doleman racked up just under 100 sacks and 31 forced fumbles during his 10 seasons in Minnesota. He led the league in sacks in 1989 and in forced fumbles in 1987. Doleman was voted to six Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams, as well as the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. Jared Allen was great in Minnesota, and I can fully understand someone disagreeing here, but Doleman gets the edge in my book.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jim Marshall (1961-1979) | 1 Int | 29 FR | 128 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (68, 69)

  2. Mark Mullaney (1975-1986) | 1 Int | 8 FR | 41.5 Sk

  3. Doug Martin (1980-1989) | 1 Int | 7 FR | 61.5 Sk | Led League in Sk 1982 (11.5)

  4. Brian Robinson (2007-2017) | 13 FF | 8 FR | 60 Sk | 289 Tackles | 68 TFL

  5. Jared Allen (2008-2013) | 4 Int | 16 FF | 9 FR | 85.5 Sk | 329 Tackles | 104 TFL | Led League in Sk 2011 (22) | 4x Pro-Bowl (08, 09, 11, 12) | 3x All-Pro (08, 09, 11)

  6. Everson Griffen (2010-2019) | 2 Int | 9 FF | 6 FR | 74.5 Sk | 355 Tackles | 86 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (15, 16, 17, 19)

  7. Danielle Hunter (2015-2019) | 6 FF | 4 FR | 54.5 Sk | 276 Tackles | 67 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (18, 19)


DT: John Randle (1990-2000)

1 Int | 25 FF | 9 FR | 114 Sk | 486 Tackles | 18 TFL | Led League in Sk 1997 (15.5) | 6x Pro-Bowl (93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | 6x All-Pro (93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2010


The great John Randle is first up at defensive tackle. Randle racked up 114 sacks during his 11 seasons in Minnesota, including leading the league in 1997 with 15.5. He was known for his mouth but would back it up with his play. He was voted to six straight Pro-Bowls and All-Pro Teams from 1993-1998 and named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. Randle was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.


DT: Alan Page (1967-1978)

1 Int | 19 FR | 108.5 Sk | Led League in FR 1970 (7) | 9x Pro-Bowl (68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76) | 6x All-Pro (69, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75) | 1971 MVP | 1971 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1988


Alan Page makes the defensive line four for four, as all of them are Hall of Famers. Alan Page has over 108 sacks in a Vikings uniform and was the first defender to ever be named league MVP in 1971. Page had at least 10 sacks in five different seasons, including a career high 18 in 1976. He was named to nine straight Pro-Bowls from 1969-1976 and the All-Pro Team six different times. He was also named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. It's worth noting that Kevin Williams should probably be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Paul Dickson (1961-1970) | 3 FR | 25.5 Sk

  2. Gary Larson (1965-1974) | 10 FR | 37 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (69, 70)

  3. Doug Sutherland (1971-1980) | 3 FR | 27.5 Sk

  4. James White (1976-1983) | 1 Int | 7 FR | 26 Sk

  5. Keith Millard (1985-1990) | 2 Int | 7 FR | 53 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (88, 89) | 2x All-Pro (88, 89) | 1989 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team

  6. Henry Thomas (1987-1994) | 2 Int | 11 FF | 8 FR | 56 Sk | 654 Tackles | Led League in FF 1988 (4) | 2x Pro-Bowl (91, 92)

  7. Pat Williams (2005-2010) | 5 FF | 4 FR | 7.5 Sk | 294 Tackles | 41 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (06, 07, 08)

  8. Kevin Williams (2003-2013) | 5 Int | 8 FF | 13 FR | 60 Sk | 465 Tackles | 104 TFL | 6x Pro-Bowl (04, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10) | 5x All-Pro (04, 06, 07, 08, 09) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team

  9. Linval Joseph (2014-2019) | 6 FF | 2 FR | 15 Sk | 350 Tackles | 32 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (16, 17)


LB: Matt Blair (1974-1985)

16 Int | 20 FR | 23 Sk | 6x Pro-Bowl (77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82) | 1x All-Pro (80)


Now on to the linebackers. Linebacker is surprisingly a little thin for the Vikings. Matt Blair is clearly the number one choice of the bunch. He compiled 16 interceptions and 23 sacks during his 12 seasons in Minnesota. Blair was voted to six straight Pro-Bowls from 1977-1982 and the All-Pro Team in 1980.


LB: Scott Studwell (1977-1990)

11 Int | 16 FR | 10 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (87, 88)


Scott Studwell is next up at linebacker. He spent 14 seasons with the Vikings from 1977-1990 and was named to the Pro-Bowl in both 1987 and 1988. Studwell intercepted 11 passes and was a solid force on the Vikings defense for over a decade, playing in over 200 games.


LB: Chad Greenway (2007-2016)

11 Int | 8 FF | 11 FR | 18 Sk | 1,103 Tackles | 62 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (11, 12)


I strongly considered Jeff Siemon, Anthony Barr and Chad Greenway for this spot. Ultimately, I decided to go with Greenway. He's the franchise leader in tackles and had at least 100 tackles in six different seasons. Greenway also intercepted 11 passes and racked up over 60 tackles for loss. He was voted to the Pro-Bowl in both 2011 and 2012.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Rip Hawkins (1961-1965) | 12 Int | 4 FR | 6 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (63)

  2. Ray Winston (1962-1976) | 12 Int | 14 FR | 15.5 Sk

  3. Wally Hilgenberg (1968-1979) | 8 Int | 13 FR | 4.5 Sk

  4. Jeff Siemon (1972-1982) | 11 Int | 11 FR | 7 Sk | 4x Pro-Bowl (73, 75, 76, 77)

  5. Fred McNeil (1974-1985) | 7 Int | 16 FR | 15 Sk

  6. Jack Del Rio (1992-1995) | 10 Int | 3 FF | 5 FR | 7.5 Sk | 504 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (94)

  7. Ed McDaniel (1992-2001) | 4 Int | 15 FF | 5 FR | 19.5 Sk | 796 Tackles | 29 TFL | Led League in FF 1995 (6) | 1x Pro-Bowl (98)

  8. E.J. Henderson (2003-2010) | 5 Int | 13 FF | 9 FR | 15.5 Sk | 761 Tackles | 67 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (10)

  9. Anthony Barr (2014-Present) | 5 Int | 8 FF | 7 FR | 17.5 Sk | 495 Tackles | 39 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (15, 16, 17, 18)

  10. Eric Kendricks (2015-Present) | 9 Int | 4 FF | 5 FR | 14 Sk | 782 Tackles | 46 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (19) | 1x All-Pro (19)


CB: Carl Lee (1983-1993)

29 Int | 6 FR | 771 Tackles | 3x Pro-Bowl (88, 89, 90) | 1x All-Pro (88)


Carl Lee is the first starting cornerback for the Vikings. Lee had multiple interceptions in eight different seasons, including a career high eight interceptions in 1988. Lee also racked up over 700 tackles from his defensive back position and was voted to three Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team.


CB: Bobby Bryant (1968-1980)

51 Int | 14 FR | 2 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (75, 76)


Bryant spent 13 seasons in Minnesota, intercepting a whopping 51 passes. He had at least four interceptions in six different seasons. His career high came in 1969, when he intercepted eight passes. Bryant's 51 interceptions are the second most in franchise history and ranked 10th in NFL history at his retirement in 1980. He was voted to the Pro-Bowl in both 1975 and 1976.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ed Sharockman (1961-1972) | 40 Int | 9 FR | 2 Sk

  2. Nate Wright (1971-1980) | 31 Int | 4 FR

  3. John Turner (1978-1983, 1985, 1987) | 22 Int | 4 FR | 2 Sk

  4. Audray McMillian (1989-1993) | 19 Int | 2 FR | Led League in Int 1992 (8) | 1x Pro-Bowl (92) | 1x All-Pro (92)

  5. Antoine Winfield (2004-2012) | 21 Int | 11 FF | 9 FR | 6.5 Sk | 737 Tackles | 45 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (08, 09, 10)

  6. Xavier Rhodes (2013-2019) | 10 Int | 3 FF | 372 Tackles | 15 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (16, 17, 19) | 1x All-Pro (19)


S: Paul Krause (1968-1979)

53 Int | 11 FR | 6x Pro-Bowl (69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75) | 1x All-Pro (75) | Hall of Fame Class 1998


The NFL's all-time leader in interceptions, Paul Krause, is next up for the All-Time Vikings. 53 of his 81 career interceptions came in a Vikings uniform. He had at least five interceptions in six different seasons and had 10 interceptions in 1975. Krause was voted to six Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team. He was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, having to wait much longer than he should have.


S: Joey Browner (1983-1991)

37 Int | 17 FR | 9.5 Sk | 6x Pro-Bowl (85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90) | 3x All-Pro (87, 88, 90) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team


Joey Browner is the other starting safety. He should probably be a Hall of Famer as well, although he seems to be overlooked. Browner had at least five interceptions in five different seasons and was named to six Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-1980s Team. Harrison Smith has been great with the Vikings as well and was a close second for this spot.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Karl Kassulke (1963-1972) | 19 Int | 9 FR | 8.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (70)

  2. Tom Hannon (1977-1984) | 15 Int | 13 FR | 4.5 Sk

  3. Robert Griffith (1994-2001) | 17 Int | 7 FF | 2 FR | 7.5 Sk | 645 Tackles | 20 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (00)

  4. Orlando Thomas (1995-2001) | 22 Int | 6 FF | 10 FR | 1.5 Sk | 443 Tackles | Led League in Int 1995 (9)

  5. Darren Sharper (2005-2008) | 18 Int | 2 FF | 3 FR | 1 Sk | 252 Tackles | 7 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (05, 07)

  6. Harrison Smith (2012-Present) | 29 Int | 8 FF | 8 FR | 16.5 Sk | 861 Tackles | 42 TFL | 6x Pro-Bowl (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21) | 1x All-Pro (17)


K: Fred Cox (1963-1977)

62 FG% | 53 Long | 1,365 Points | Led League in Points 1969 and 1970 (121, 125) | Led League in FGM 1965, 1969 and 1970 (23, 26, 30) | Led League in Long 1965 (53) | Led League in FG% 1969 (70.3%) | 1x Pro-Bowl (70)


Fred Cox gets the nod at kicker. He's the franchise leader in points and led the league in points in both 1969 and 1970. He also led the league in field goals made three times, long once and field goal percentage once as well. He was voted to his lone Pro-Bowl in 1970.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Fuad Reveiz (1990-1995) | 77.8 FG% | 52 Long | 598 Points | Led League in FGM 1994 (34) | 1x Pro-Bowl (94)

  2. Gary Anderson (1998-2002) | 84.5 FG% | 53 Long | 542 Points | Led League in Points 1998 (164) | Led League in FG% 1998 (100%) | 1x Pro-Bowl (98) | 1x All-Pro (98) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team

  3. Blair Walsh (2012-2016) | 84.2 FG% | 56 Long | 555 Points | Led League in FGM 2012 and 2015 (35, 34) | 1x Pro-Bowl (12) | 1x All-Pro (12)


P: Mitch Berger (1996-2001)

16,795 Punt Yds | 75 Long | 43.5 Yds/Punt | 1x Pro-Bowl (99)


The Vikings don't have any one punter who clearly stands out amongst the rest, but if I have to choose one, I'm going with Mitch Berger. Berger is the only punter ever voted to a Pro-Bowl in a Vikings uniform and averaged 43.5 yards per punt during his six seasons.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Greg Coleman (1978-1987) | 29,391 Punt Yds | 73 Long | 40.8 Yds/Punt

  2. Chris Kluwe (2005-2012) | 27,683 Punt Yds | 70 Long | 44.4 Yds/Punt


Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson (2013-2016)

4,075 Kick Rt Yds | 5 Kick Rt TD | 30.4 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Kick Rt TD 2013, 2015 and 2016 (2, 2, 1) | Led League in Kick Rt Long 2013 and 2016 (109, 104) | Led League in Yds/Kick Rt 2013, 2015 and 2016 (32.4, 31.8, 31.7) | 2x Pro-Bowl (13, 16) | 2x All-Pro (13, 16) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Cordarrelle Patterson is an easy choice here. Patterson is tied with two others for the NFL record in career kick return touchdowns. Five of those touchdowns came while wearing a Vikings uniform. He led the league in kick return touchdowns three times, kick return long two times and yards per kick return three times as well. Patterson was named to two Pro-Bowls, three All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All 2010s Team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Percy Harvin (2009-2012) | 3,183 Kick Rt Yds | 5 Kick Rt TD | 27.9 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Kick Rt TD 2011 (1) | 1x Pro-Bowl (09) | 2009 Offensive Rookie of the Year


Head Coach: Bud Grant (1967-1985)

Regular Season: 158-96-5 | 62.1 W-L% | Playoffs: 10-12 | 1969 NFL Champion | 1973, 1974 and 1976 NFC Champion | 1969 Coach of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 1994


Bud Grant is easily the choice for the All-Time Vikings head coach position. He is the franchise leader in wins with 158 and led the Vikings to 12 winning seasons during his 18 seasons as their head coach. Grant also led the Vikings to the playoffs 12 different times, including four Super Bowl appearances. He lost all four Super Bowls, but technically the Vikings were still NFL Champions in 1969, since the AFL and NFL hadn't merged into one league yet. Grant was the 1969 Coach of the Year and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jerry Burns (1986-1991) | Regular Season: 52-43 | 54.7 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-3

  2. Dennis Green (1992-2001) | Regular Season: 97-62 | 61 W-L% | Playoffs: 4-8

  3. Brad Childress (2006-2010) | Regular Season: 39-35 | 52.7 W-L% | Playoffs: 1-2

  4. Mike Zimmer (2014-Present) | Regular Season: 72-56-1 | 56.2 W-L% | Playoffs: 2-3

1 Comment


Exactly how I would have ranked them and I have been a die-hard fan since 1977. (Yes, it has not been easy, In fact it has been brutal..) Our only difference is I would have chosen Gary Zimmerman (Your reasoning of being able to use him for the Broncos was kind of annoying) Overall though a GREAT job and very accurate. It was fun to read and Thank you for writing it.

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