Photo credit: AP Photo/Charles Kelly
Only 10 days left until the NFL Draft is here.
Fans always are pumped for the draft, along with free agency. It is always fun to see which new players their favorite team will get and how big of an impact they will have.
Vikings fans are especially excited about the draft. Their team is coming off a 13-3 season in which they advanced to the NFC Championship Game. They added Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson in free agency. Both should be very good additions. Kendall Wright could also make a very good third wide receiver for them.
Given how last season went, this will be without a doubt one of the most important drafts in franchise history. In addition to Cousins and Richardson, can any of their rookies also help them get over the hump?
No.10 is one of six numbers retired by the Vikings. It was worn by Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.
Tarkenton was drafted third overall by Vikings in 1961. He played for them until 1966 and was traded to the New York Giants. He was traded back to the Vikings after spending five years with the Giants. He spent the final seven seasons of his career with the Vikings and helped lead them to three Super Bowl appearances in his return.
In his 13 seasons with the Vikings, he threw 33,098 yards with 239 touchdowns and 194 interceptions (all Vikings records). When he retired he was the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (47,003), touchdowns (342) and interceptions (266).
What made him more well-known though was his incredible ability to scramble.
Since Tarkenton retired the Vikings have not reached the Super Bowl and have not had much success at quarterback. They have had some very good short-term quarterbacks in Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham and Brett Favre, but finding a long-term solution has been the biggest problem.
Daunte Culpepper looked like he was going to be the guy, but he struggled in 2005 without Randy Moss and suffered a season-ending knee injury in their seventh game. He never played for the Vikings again after that. Teddy Bridgewater looked like he was possibly going to be the answer until he suffered a very serious injury before the 2016 season.
The Vikings signed Kirk Cousins hoping that he can be their long-term quarterback. Their lack of success at quarterback is definitely a big reason for their Super Bowl drought.
Will Cousins have as big of an impact on the Vikings as Tarkenton did? Not very likely, but as long as he keeps playing well, the Vikings got a good shot at not only making it back to the Super Bowl but also winning one for the first time some time in the near future.