Forgive us if we sound like a bunch of broken records. Yes, it’s another post about quarterbacks. About 90% of what’s come out of Leslie Frazier’s mouth this offseason relates to the most important position in the game. And the indications are that this team prefers to draft a QB this offseason over bringing in a veteran. We’re also well aware that there is currently a lockout going on prohibiting trades and who knows what kind of free agency period we’ll have in this bizarre offseason. But when Dan and I were talking recently, we did find 3 troublesome obstacles that will arise if a rookie QB is brought in this offseason and handed the starting position.
1) Vikings an Old Team. Per the good people at Pro Football Weekly, the Vikings were the 3rd oldest team in the NFL last season. Jokes aside of Old Man Favre turning 41 and skewing that number upward — speaking of which, he has retired (we think) and won’t be back in purple next season (we’re almost certain) – we did count 24 players on the current roster who will be 30 next season. Obviously not all of them we’ll be back, but how would offensive leaders like Steve Hutchinson (33) and Visanthe Shiancoe (30) respond to a 23-year-old who was just handed the car keys to the offense? Not to mention Adrian Peterson is in his mid-20s, which are considered prime years for a running back and has to have the mentality of wanting another playoff run sooner rather than later. Something tells me the locker room wouldn’t have the patience of Andy Dufresne dotting out his wall.
2) Frazier is Cherry Picking Success Stories. So far this offseason, Frazier has mentioned three QBs who have won numerous games early in their careers in Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez. Frazier has also elaborated on how he’d like to be set at the position for many years. On Matt Ryan, ever since Andrew Luck decided to stay at Stanford another year there is not a QB in this draft grading as high as him. Secondly, both Flacco and Sanchez put up pedestrian stats as rookies. What they both had in their favor however was going to teams that had top five defenses enabling them to play more of a ball-control offense heavily emphasizing the running game. Peterson is certainly an elite running back, but it’s naïve to think the ‘11 Vikings defense will be able to keep games close as the ’08 Ravens or ’09 Jets did.
3) The Spider Webb Hanging Around. Everything we’ve read this offseason points towards finding a new starting QB and keeping Joe Webb at the position as well. Translation – Webb’s not going away. Only your craziest of Vikings fans would suggest now that Webb should be handed the starting gig now. Most would reference how in 3 games, he really only had one spectacular half against Philadelphia and everything else points towards needing more time to grow. To Webb’s credit however, he has said he’d like to get other Vikings receivers together and workout. Say a lockout goes deep into summer & Webb spends weeks throwing to Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. Then in September or whenever the season starts the Vikings lineup a rookie under center, what’s the locker room dynamic going to be like then? Or even worse, what if the rookie underperforms in the preseason and Webb has plays like a franchise QB? Perhaps someone’s presence is being underestimated.
I don’t have an available name off the top of my head that could immediately lead this franchise to the Promised Land. Please, if anything finding a franchise QB is as difficult of a find in sports. However, if the Vikings are to go with a rookie they had best be certain he is the answer for multiple years. Otherwise we may want to wait for Donovan McNabb to be released or try to trade for Kyle Orton when the lockout ends.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig