When a team has a glaring hole at quarterback, it’s natural for draft speculation about that team to be dominated by quarterback discussion. That has certainly been the case for the Vikings, who have further fueled that discussion by openly expressing their desire to draft a QB in the first or second round.
The Vikings have been so forthcoming about their quarterback wishes, in fact, that some of us have started worrying they might do something dumb on draft day – like reach for a guy who isn’t really worthy, just to fill that big gaping scary hole. As if in response to these concerns, Rick Spielman has stepped in to tamp down the all quarterback jonesing.
In an interview with KFAN’s Paul Allen, Spielman discussed his whole quarterback drafting philosophy. “The quarterback position is something that’s a little bit more unique because you have to really define what you want in a quarterback, and it may not be all the things that you see on tape. It may be other intangibles,” he said. “We have to make sure if we do go that route that he fits exactly what we’re looking for. You don’t want to force an issue that’s not there because that’s when you make mistakes.”
Mistakes like back when Brad Childress traded up for Tarvaris Jackson in the erroneous belief that Jackson could become the next Donovan McNabb? Or like when Mike Tice took butterfingers Troy Williamson 7th overall because the Vikings needed to replace Randy Moss?
Those draft-day gaffes, and many others just like them, are why some Viking fans can’t help being a tad leery. That queasy feeling isn’t helped when the head coach comes right out and says he intends finding the team’s starter among this year’s draft prospects, despite the long odds against any young QB stepping in right away and leading a team to victory.
The fact is that there is probably no Matt Ryan in this year’s draft. And wanting a guy to be Matt Ryan won’t make him Matt Ryan. I’m sure Leslie Frazier knows this, but it’s nice to hear someone in the organization more-or-less say it.
It’s interesting that Frazier and Spielman would come at the issue, at least in their public comments, from such differing directions. If I didn’t know better I’d almost think Spielman and Frazier were playing some kind of good cop/bad cop game, perhaps as part of a whole huge draft smokescreen plan. If this is indeed the case, I applaud Spielman and Frazier. That’s the kind of teamwork between coach and personnel guy we didn’t see during the Chilly regime. Back then it was all Chilly, and Spielman might as well have been a Metrodome usher.
That Frazier would be willing to work with Spielman in dispensing misinformation indicates the Vikings really have moved beyond the one-man-operation approach of the Chilly days to become a true professional organization. Then again, maybe Spielman and Frazier are both just talking out of their butts independently. In any event, I hope Spielman gets his way on draft day. As much as I’d like the Vikings to pluck a franchise quarterback from this year’s vine of prospects, I don’t want them to do something dumb, and make an even bigger mess of the QB situation than what they inherited from Knucklehead Chilly.