With all player movement frozen, and the two sides in the labor battle engaged in mere petty squabbling, there’s really nothing to talk about right now but the draft. Thankfully, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is willing to do just that.
Of primary concern to Frazier and Viking fans is the team’s quarterback situation, and how the draft might be used to rectify it. This morning at the NFL coaches breakfast Frazier addressed that issue at length, giving plenty of hints about what the team’s plans could be.
“Ideally, [our plan] would be to get a young guy that could say, ‘OK, we’re going to ride with this guy. He’s our guy. He’s our Flacco, he’s our Sanchez, he’s our Matt Ryan,” Frazier told the media. “He would step in as our starter. That would be the ideal situation. You know you’re going to go through your lumps early on but in the long term you just know you’ve got the right guy, that’s he’s just going to get better and better and better and we build around him.
“There’s no question that would be the way to go and it’s probably been a while since that’s happened in Minnesota. You’d love to have that in your organization. Chicago has that now with Cutler, Green Bay has that now with Rodgers, Detroit has that now with Stafford. We want to join that club. We want people to say, ‘Minnesota has their guy.'”
The problem with that plan of course is that such a player may not actually be available in this year’s draft. The top two men on everyone’s draft boards, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, are thought of as guys with good physical tools who will need plenty of developing. A guy like Jake Locker might be closer to playing right away, but there are questions about his accuracy. Ryan Mallett could also be considered, but many have red flagged him over character concerns.
And what if the Vikings can’t find their guy in the draft? Once league business is allowed to start again, the Viking could explore making a trade, maybe for Kevin Kolb whose name continues to be floated. Frazier also addressed the Kolb talk this morning.
“He’s a good young quarterback,” Frazier said. “There’s a reason that they had him slated as the No. 1 guy going into training camp [last year] and they made the trade letting Donovan [McNabb] move on. They saw some things in him they really liked, and I respect Andy [Reid] and their staff tremendously. … So you’d have to consider a guy like Kevin if he becomes available. He’ll be part of the conversation, as well if that were to occur. Right now, there is no free agency, there are no trade talks but we’re going to talk internally about a bunch of different scenarios and just talk about players throughout our league.”
So it sounds like Kolb is in the mix. You might as well throw Donovan McNabb in there too even though Frazier didn’t mention him. Basically, it sounds like everything is on the table for the Vikings, except Brett Favre who Frazier once again publicly crossed off the list.
And where does all this leave Joe Webb? It certainly doesn’t sound like Frazier has much faith in Webb becoming the man. Of course this quarterback talk could all be part of an elaborate scheme to motivate Webb to work his ass off this off-season. Isn’t that the kind of thing people always suspect teams of trying to pull when they speak openly about their plans?
All kidding aside, it does appear that the Vikings have their eyes on options besides Webb. If you want to take Frazier at his word, it certainly looks like the team will aggressively pursue one of the top QBs in the draft, and might even be willing to trade up to make that happen. Like I said before, I’m not convinced any of the top QBs are play-now type options.