Ranking the best quarterbacks in NFL history #14. Fran Tarkenton

14.  Fran Tarkenton: Tarkenton was taken in the third round (29th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1961 draft.  Tarkenton played 246 games (239 starts) over 18 seasons with the Vikings and the New York Giants.  The nine-time Pro Bowler was a dominant quarterback with his arm and his legs for nearly two decades.  In fact, Trakenton ranked in the top three in passing yards 10 times, touchdowns passes nine times, completion percentage eight times and passer rating six times.  His best seasons came in 1967, ’69 and ’75.  In ’67, Tarkenton completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 3,088 yards and a career-high 29 touchdowns as well as 44 carries for 306 yards and two more scores on the ground in his first year with the Giants.  Those numbers earned him his third Pro Bowl in four seasons.  Two years later, Tarkenton had one of the best interception percentages of his career with only eight picks in 409 passing attempts.  He also completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 2,918 yards and 23 touchdowns to earn his fifth Pro Bowl.  ’75 may have been the best season of his career, when Tarkenton earned AP NFL MVP and First-Team All-Pro after completing a league-leading 64.2 percent of his passes for 2,994 yards and a NFL best 25 touchdown passes for the Vikings.

For his career, Tarkenton completed 57 percent of his passes for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns as well as adding 3,674 yards and 32 touchdowns on 675 carries.  When he called it quits, Tarkenton was the all-time NFL leader in both passing yards and touchdowns.   He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1986 for his remarkable efforts.


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