To Viking fans the name Mike Mayock will always evoke the tedium of preseason football games and the endless droning announcer filler that goes with them. To the rest of America however, Mayock’s name means pre-draft scouting and the art of shooting in the dark with authority.
Today in a conference call, NFL Network talent wonk Mayock discussed the Vikings and their search for a quarterback to lead them into the future. Somehow the word “grind” entered the conversation. Mayock said of the Vikings and their potential interest in one of this year’s highly-touted QBs:
I think what they have to do is they have to grind the top four guys real hard [Missouri's Blaine] Gabbert, [Washington's Jake] Locker, [Auburn's Cam] Newton and [Arkansas' Ryan] Mallett. They’ve got to look at those four guys and first make the decision that if at No. 12 [they] believe any of them are worthwhile at that pick.
Not just grind them mind you, but grind them real hard.
Grinding was apparently on Mayock’s mind this morning, because later he said this while discussing the second tier of QB options:
Basically, you’re looking at [TCU's] Andy Dalton, [Florida State's Christian] Ponder, [Iowa's Ricky] Stanzi and [Nevada's Colin] Kaepernick. Those are the four guys that I think comprise the next level. I guarantee you that Rick Spielman and his guys are grinding the heck out of that group of eight players. I think one of those eight has to be a Minnesota Viking next year.
Thank goodness those players are all of legal age, or Rick Spielman and his guys would be in a world of trouble.
To me, option #1 if you’re really looking quarterback has to be Cam Newton. And Cam is also option #2 and option #3. Option #4 is Colin Kaepernick. The rest of those guys do little for me, including Blaine Gabbert who many think is wildly overrated at this point.
Most agree the Vikings do need to add another young or youngish quarterback to their mix. Whether that means drafting one or trading a high pick for a guy like Kevin Kolb is obviously still way up in the air.
Another thing most can agree on? Mike Mayock needs to expand his vocabulary.