Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson and the 10 Greatest Players in Team History
To say the Minnesota Vikings have had a rich history is an understatement.
Although they might not be able to boast about a Super Bowl victory, the Vikings can proudly say they have had some really great players represent their team.
Minnesota has had some players come in and play for a year or two, but they will not be on this list. Most of the players on this list are homegrown, meaning they have been drafted by the team.
Some well-known players may not make this list, but that only goes to show that the Vikings history is so deep that not everyone can crack the top 10.
Let's get to it.
10. Jared Allen
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"Rodeo" Jared Allen has been one of the most dominant players in NFL history and one of the greatest Vikings of all time.
In his four years with the Vikings, Allen has accumulated 62 sacks. In 2011, Allen passed Chris Doleman's sack record with 22 sacks in a season and was only 0.5 a sack away from breaking Michael Strahan's record, but unfortunately for Allen, he was not facing someone who would take a dive for him to give him that last sack.
This monster of a defensive end will likely make the Hall of Fame if he continues to dominate opposing quarterbacks like he has his whole career. Hopefully, for Vikings fans, he continues to cause damage against other teams in Minnesota wearing a purple and yellow jersey.
Allen is on the bottom of the top 10 Vikings of all time, but if he continues like this, in a few years he may climb the ladder and get very close to the top.
9. Carl Eller
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Speaking of sackmasters, Carl Eller was one of the greatest defensive ends of all time.
Eller has been credited with an unofficial 130 sacks in his career and was tough to contain because of his 6'5", 250-pound stature.
Carl was a integral part of the "Purple People Eaters" along with Jim Marshall and Alan Page. The reason Eller made the list and Marshall did not is because Eller had a better career than Marshall and he has made it into the Hall of the Fame.
Eller is a big part of Minnesota's history and one of its greatest players of all time.
8. Ron Yary
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Ron Yary was the first offensive lineman to ever be selected as the first pick in an NFL draft—he was well worth it.
Yary is a Hall of Fame right tackle who played a major role in all four of the Vikings' Super Bowl appearances.
He makes this list because of how important he was to the team's success in the '70s. As a consistently productive starter for 14 years, Yary is one of the most important fixtures in the Vikings rich history.
Maybe the Vikings will use another very high draft pick on an offensive lineman in this year's draft that could enter the top 10 like Yary did.
7. Randy Moss
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Randy Moss is not only one of the best players in Vikings history, but he is also their most controversial player.
Moss made a career out of beating defenders and scoring touchdowns, but he also made a career out of stirring controversy. Whether it was running traffic officers over, telling reporters paying fines are nothing to him, or "pulling his pants down" to the Green Bay Packers crowd, Moss has never shied away from controversy.
Moss has been with the Vikings twice, but his first stint is the reason why he is on this list.
In his first seven seasons as a Viking, the superfreak caught 90 touchdowns. Moss and quarterback Daunte Culpepper were a huge part of the team's success throughout those years. Moss would completely dominate other players and Culpepper would keep "rolling on."
Moss was such a huge part of the team's history that the fans were more excited than anything else when he came back to the team in 2010. Although it was a forgetful stint, the feeling in Minnesota when he came back was unmatchable.
6. Adrian Peterson
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Adrian "All Day" Peterson might be the best Viking of all time when it is all said and done.
All Day made a name for himself as soon as he stepped on the field for the Vikings in 2007. In his rookie year, Peterson broke the single-game rushing record by running for 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers.
In what looked like a poor offensive team in 2006, AP completely turned the team around in his rookie year and the team's offensive production has not looked back. Peterson had a big fumbling issue, but since the NFC Championship Game in 2010 AP has only put the ball on the ground twice.
Although this list has a couple of really tough and scary athletes, it is safe to say Peterson would likely be able to run through them all with his powerful yet quick rushing attack.
Peterson will continue to carry the ball for the Vikings and will be their best chance at bringing a Super Bowl victory to Minnesota.
5. John Randle
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Speaking of strong and scary athletes, here is John "Motor Mouth" Randle. Randle is the Vikings' second-best defensive player of all time.
As an undrafted free agent, Randle is known as one of the biggest steals in NFL history. In his 11 seasons with the Vikings, Motor Mouth accumulated 114 sacks.
Randle was not only known for getting to the quarterback, but he was also known for getting into the opposing teams minds. The reason he is called "Motor Mouth" is because he never stopped talking throughout a game, always trying to rattle the opposing offensive line and the quarterback. As if his play was not enough, Randle's trash-talking really helped him get over the top.
Randle may not be the best Viking of all time, but he is definitely a top-10 player and most certainly the biggest draft steal in Vikings history.
4. Cris Carter
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Cris Carter is the best wide receiver to ever wear a Vikings jersey.
Carter is known for having the best hands in the NFL history, and if you have ever seen him make a catch you would know why. It seemed as if no ball was uncatchable for Carter. Whether it was over- or underthrown, Carter would find a way to haul it in with one or two hands on a consistent basis.
Carter was also a big reason as to why Randy Moss saw so much success in his NFL career. When Moss came in the league Carter was a veteran who was able to show Moss the ropes. Moss learned a lot of good from Carter, but he also learned how to be a loud mouth. If it weren't for Moss and his antics, Carter would be considered the biggest prima donna in Vikings history.
The fact that Carter has not made the Hall of Fame yet is an insult to him and every single Minnesota Vikings fan. Hopefully the Hall of Fame comes through and finally inducts the second-best receiver in NFL history.
3. Randall McDaniel
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When you look up "consistent" in the dictionary, there is a picture of Randall McDaniel.
McDaniel set an NFL record by starting in 12 consecutive Pro Bowls. Although one of them was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the rest were with the Minnesota Vikings. McDaniel carried an offensive line that helped create five 1,000-yard rushing and four 3,000-yard passing seasons.
McDaniel is not only one of the best Vikings of all time, but he is also the best offensive guard in NFL history.
2. Fran Tarkenton
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Fran Tarkenton very well might be the greatest Minnesota Viking of all time, but he comes in a close second.
Although some may debate between Tarkenton and Page, no one can debate the fact that Fran was the Vikings' best quarterback of all time.
Tarkenton is the only Viking to ever win an NFL MVP. He also led the team to three Super Bowl appearances in the '70s.
Tarkenton did more than just help the Viking succeed, he completely revolutionized the quarterback position with his scrambling ability. Tarkenton used to scramble for big yardage when the NFL rules did not favor quarterbacks like they do now. He was the first to effectively scramble against opposing defenses, and he paved the way for quarterbacks who like to defer to the rush when no one is open.
It is a shame this legend never won a Super Bowl, but his numbers and the way he changed a position will always keep him near the top of the best Vikings list.
1. Alan Page
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Alan Page is the greatest Minnesota Viking of all time, and it's tough to argue against the heart of the most dominant defensive line in NFL history, the Purple People Eaters.
In his career as a Viking, Page garnered an unofficial total of 148 sacks, and in 1971 Page was the first defensive player to ever win the MVP award. Page was also given the honors of Defensive Player of the Year in both 1971 and 1973.
Page was a moniker for what Bud Grant an the Vikings were all about: tough and hard-nosed play. Page will always be known as one of the greatest Vikings of all time because of his contributions to the Super Bowl teams and his consistent dominance in the NFL.
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