We’ve arrived at the number 11 in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series, and we’ve got three fairly prominent quarterbacks in Vikings’ history to look at for this one.
Since we do things chronologically, we start with Joe Kapp. Kapp was actually drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 18th round of the 1959 NFL Draft, but the Redskins didn’t bother getting in contact with him after the draft concluded. So, he had to spend a significant stretch in the Canadian Football League, playing for both the B.C. Lions and the Calgary Stampeders. In 1967, a rare trade between CFL and NFL teams was engineered, and Kapp was sent from Calgary to Minnesota. With Fran Tarkenton having been traded to the New York Giants, Kapp stepped in as the starting quarterback. He was not immediately successful, as the team went 3-8-3. . .yes, three ties. . .in Kapp’s first season, but in 1968 he led the team to its first ever playoff appearance.
In 1969, Kapp set a team record for touchdown passes in a game that still stands today, tossing seven in a game against the Baltimore Colts. He led the Vikings to the Super Bowl that year, which they wound up losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the final game before the NFL-AFL merger. Kapp’s contract situation wound up getting a little sticky after that, and just a year after leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl, he found himself playing for the Boston Patriots. With his three seasons as a Viking, Kapp is 12th in team history in passing yardage, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1969.
The Vikings selected Wade Wilson in the eighth round of the 1981 NFL Draft, and he spent a whopping 11 seasons with Minnesota, playing for the team until 1991. He was primarily a backup until 1987, when he got the opportunity to start seven games and helped lead the Vikings on their surprising charge to the 1987 NFC Championship Game. He wound up getting selected to the Pro Bowl in 1988 and was the starter for the team in 1989 as well.
Wilson would wind up sharing the starting job with Rich Gannon in 1990 and 1991, and was released by the Vikings after the 1991 season. Surprisingly. . .at least, it was a surprise to me. . .Wilson is fourth all-time in passing yardage for the Vikings with 12,135 and in passing touchdowns with 66. I would have had a hard time coming up with that before looking it up for this piece, I think.
Last, we have Daunte Culpepper, who was selected by the Vikings with the 11th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. After spending his rookie season as the #3 on the depth chart behind Jeff George and Randall Cunningham, Culpepper was given the keys to the Vikings’ offense in 2000, and helped to lead the team to the NFC Championship Game that year. (We won’t talk about what happened when they actually got there.) He was named a first-team All-Pro in that 2000 season, and repeated that feat again in 2004 when he, arguably, could have been the NFL MVP. He set a single-season record for yardage produced by a quarterback in a season, and was second to Peyton Manning in touchdown passes that season.
Unfortunately, Culpepper got his knee wrecked midway through the 2005 season and fell out of favor with new head coach Brad Childress, paving the way for a trade to the Miami Dolphins. For his career, Culpepper is third all-time in passing yardage and passing touchdowns, trailing both Fran Tarkenton and Tommy Kramer in both categories.
Vikings that have worn the number 11:
- Ron Vander Kelen (1963)
- Joe Kapp (1967 - 1969)
- Mike Eischeid (1972 - 1974)
- Wade Wilson (1981 - 1991)
- Jay Fiedler (1998)
- Daunte Culpepper (2000 - 2005)
- Jason Carter (2006)
- Jaymar Johnson (2009 - 2010)
- Stephen Burton (2011 - 2012)
- Mike Wallace (2015)
- Laquon Treadwell (2016 - present)
Tomorrow we round out the teen numbers when we reach #10. Yeah, there’s not going to be a vote for that one, either.
Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 11?
This poll is closed
Daunte Culpepper (2000 - 2005)
Joe Kapp (1967 - 1969)
Wade Wilson (1981 - 1991)