clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gil Brandt ranks Fran Tarkenton 14th on list of all-time greatest quarterbacks

Might be just about right

SiriusXM Broadcasts Live From Radio Row During Super Bowl XLVI Week In Indianapolis Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Debates about who the greatest quarterback in NFL history are just about as old as the league itself. There are a lot of different factors that go into such a ranking, and different people weigh those different things in different ways. One man that’s seen damn near every quarterback there is to see has put together his list of the 16 best quarterbacks in NFL history, and it includes a few names that are familiar to fans of the Minnesota Vikings, including the greatest quarterback ever to wear the purple.

Gil Brandt, who has been part of the National Football League for a very long time, has placed Fran Tarkenton at #14 on his list of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time.

As I’ve said numerous times in this space, my stretch of Vikings’ fandom doesn’t encompass the Tarkenton era. . .he took his final snap for the Vikings when I was about two years old. So, I’ve only ever seen him play through the magic of film. However, given the resumes of the other quarterbacks on the list, it would appear that Brandt probably has him in just about the right place.

Here is Brandt’s full list:

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Peyton Manning
  3. Joe Montana
  4. Otto Graham
  5. John Elway
  6. Roger Staubach
  7. Johnny Unitas
  8. Brett Favre
  9. Dan Marino
  10. Troy Aikman
  11. Sammy Baugh
  12. Terry Bradshaw
  13. Warren Moon
  14. Fran Tarkenton
  15. Drew Brees
  16. Jim Kelly

Only four of the 16 quarterbacks on Brandt’s list. . .Marino, Moon, Tarkenton, and Kelly. . .don’t have some sort of championship on their resume, so I don’t think that played a huge role in the list.

I can understand that Tarkenton’s ranking on the list might seem a little low to some, particularly to those of us that cheer for the Vikings. After all, when Tarkenton retired, he held pretty much every single meaningful passing record, and he held them for quite a long time before guys like Marino came by and passed them. Even in today’s high-flying, pass-happy NFL, Tarkenton is still #11 in career passing yardage and #6 in career touchdown passes despite being retired for 40 years. But I’m not sure which quarterbacks that are ahead of him on the list you’d jump him over, honestly.

What do you think of Fran Tarkenton’s ranking on Gil Brandt’s list?