Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Vikings wait until 2015 to draft a quarterback?


It seems like the closer we get the to the 2014 NFL Draft, the less people seem to like the top quarterbacks in it.

Sure, Johnny Manziel reportedly had a really nice workout for NFL teams, but for the most part there were relatively few concerns about Johnny being able to throw a football. The big questions about his game center around his durability and his ability to go through progressions in the pocket and not bail early.

Hard to answer those questions when you’re just running around in shorts.

This leads to a very interesting question for those NFL teams in need of a quarterback, like the Vikings? Should they just skip this quarterback draft class altogether?

As of right now, the quarterback draft class for next year, 2015, looks very nice at the top. Rising passers like Florida State’s Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, and UCLA’s Brett Hundley headline the players who will be eligible to declare next season.

Punting on a draft class is not a foreign concept to NFL teams either. In 2011, the Redskins and Dolphins both needed an upgrade at quarterback but decided to both roll with stopgap quarterbacks for a season in Rex Grossman and Matt Moore.

The two teams were not high on the quarterbacks in the 2011 draft class, and they waited a year to take their two current quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill. Washington even traded its first round selection to Jacksonville so they could take Blaine Gabbert.

The Jaguars, Titans and Vikings all decided that they needed their quarterbacks right away and took Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.

While Griffin and Tannehill haven’t performed well enough to really put themselves in the “franchise quarterback” discussion, it’s hard to argue that they haven’t performed better in their two seasons than the three quarterbacks listed above.

And in addition to selecting superior passers in 2012, in 2011 the Redskins and Dolphins selected two players who have both made the Pro Bowl: Ryan Kerrigan and Mike Pouncey.

The 2014 draft class has received considerable praise from analysts and scouts, so it’s very possible the Vikings could pick up a future Pro Bowler in this year’s draft and then possibly select a superior quarterback prospect in 2015.

Of course, the problem with this strategy is it’s a tremendous gamble. While Winston, Mariota, Petty and Hundley are hot names now in college football, it’s possible that with another year to evaluate their game tape media members and scouts change their tune on their abilities to compete at the next level.

Not to mention, some of these guys may not even be available in 2015. Winston, Mariota and Hundley will all still be eligible to play college football for the 2015 season, so they may not choose to enter the NFL next year.

There’s also the caveat that it’s very possible that the Vikings aren’t able to pick one of those players either in a year. There is definitely the sentiment around this team that it is poised for a slight rebound in 2014, meaning they may be picking later than No. 8 overall.

Perhaps by then too many quarterback-needy teams will have snatched up all these passers. Even after passing in 2011, the Redskins had a to pay a fortune for the rights to draft RGIII. The team does not have a first round pick in the 2014 draft after trading up for Griffin.

For the Vikings, there’s also the fact that Adrian Peterson isn’t getting any younger, and one more season spent without a quarterback means one less season he’ll have a real shot at winning a title. It also means the team would have to roll with Matt Cassel under center for all of 2014, which could get dicey (See: Cassel in Kansas City after 2010).

But the team doesn’t want to reach again for a quarterback prospect after 2011, especially when Rick Speilman knows one more miss could cost him his job.

While this may seem like a trivial discussion to some people, it is taking place in the Vikings organization right now. It may take place over five minutes, it may take place over months, but this is a situation I’m sure the team is looking into.

And the decision the Vikings come to will affect the future of this franchise for years to come.

What do you think Vikings fans? Do good things come to those who wait, and would the risk be worth it for Winston or Mariota? Or do you think there’s enough talent and depth in 2014 that the Vikings shouldn’t use up another year of Peterson’s career? Discuss below in the comments or on Twitter with me @Goatman102!

 

Tags: Featured Mike Zimmer Popular Rick Speilman Vikings

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    Nope. It’s exactly the same number of first round QBs and we’ll be a later pick. They’ll all go top ten except maybe Hundley

  • http://batman-news.com yortzme

    Don’t think we should wait. Best bet would be to draft a QB ealy round and later rounds of this years draft.

  • Justin Weishaar

    Every year. There is one qb who is the it. Few experts give him universal praise. Except luck.
    Newton. Questions.
    Rg3. Question.
    Ej manuel. Question.
    Sam bradford.questions
    Mattew stafford.

    Simple fact is qbs in thw top 2 are never sure bets. But it is a bet you must take. Ask your self this. We pass on johnny. And he takes a team like arizona or tennesse to the playoffs. And casell chokes up again. So. With a good d
    We go .500. And we miss out on the qbs next year too. Costing us multiple 1st to move up.

    We also waste another year of ap. Another freakin year.
    We have to take a qb. This year. Pick in the first 2 rounds. If johnny is there at 8. No hesitation.

    It is better to take a qb and bust. Than to pass and watch him tear the leage up.

  • robb

    Vikings have to move now because for sure they will not be as low as 8 again next year and if they are by using only Cassel(whom I do like) a lot more serious concerns will have to be addressed. They will have to spend more picks from a later position next year if that’s the case. No, now is the time to strike. But I’m afraid Spielman will falter with the Ponder debacle in his mind and concerns for his job.

  • Jeeves

    Really skeptical about drafting a QB at #8. Don’t think we can pass up a good prospect in 2nd or 3rd though. (Hey, and while we’re at it, maybe we can get MBT back in for another look-see since San Fran was picking up other backups. We can always cut him if he doesn’t make the top 3.)

  • Spencer Davis

    I will bet both my baby making balls that the Vikings select a QB in this year’s draft. Just because it’s not a strong class at the top, does not mean there isn’t prospects with some potential. I don’t think they should take one at 8, but simply reflecting on two crappy teams (Dolphins and Redskins) and how they passed on taking a QB, shouldn’t mean the Vikings don’t take a prospect at some point in the draft. Sorry, I like a lot of your articles but this one doesn’t deserve a read.

    • http://thevikingage.com Ben Gotz

      First of all, I’m glad you like some of my articles so thank you for that! I wasn’t trying to say that passing on a quarterback this draft was a route I would take, I was simply trying to lay out an argument for both sides. Like I said in the article, it may not seem like a discussion that should take long, but it’s one the team will be having so I just wanted to get people’s opinions!

  • MikeH123

    if one of the top 3 fall to them at #8 they take a top QB. If not wait until next year.

  • Ken Tomlin

    Why not do both? Take a QB somewhere rd 2-4, then see where we’re drafting next yr and take 1 then too. No QB in this yrs draft is an Andrew Luck type prospect. We know whomever the VIKES do take, will most likely be backing up Cassel all yr unless he gets hurt. Spielman and coaching staff would be able to evaluate the QB this yr, and see if he’s the answer. If not, then draft another next yr. nothing wrong with ” covering your bets”.

    • guest

      I agree. Heck, the Vikes might even take 2 QB’s this year just to cover their bases but I highly doubt that will happen. More than likely however, is that they’ll put off finding a franchise QB for the hundredth time and keep signing part-timers to fill the role once again as the annual tradition. With exception to the T-Jack & Ponder draft picks of recent past, expect them to sign another stop gap QB. That philosophy unfortunately has only lead to marginal success. They’ve hit on guys like Jeff George and Brett Favre (who were good for really only 1yr), than they completely miss at times with others like McNabb, and Freeman. This constant recycling of QB’s like Gus Frerotte, Brad Johnson, and Sage Rosenfels NEEDS TO STOP!. Either they finally find their future QB in this year or next years draft, or end up setting the franchise back another decade in search of yearly placeholders.

  • Gordon Guffey

    Turner has said that this is a strong class for QB’s with strong arms who need good coaching ~ I will take his word for it ~ And I dont believe he was saying he wanted a strong arm QB ~ Fans are putting to much thought on the deep passing game but if you look at what Tuners offense a lot of the yardage comes after the catch ~ Turner doesn’t need a guy who can throw it a mile ~ He needs someone who can hit a open WR 30 or 40 yards down the field on any given play and let that player do the rest ~ They have such players in Patterson~Wright while Jennings and Simpson do a great job of hitting those mid rang routes ~

    Spielman doesn’t get the credit for adding talent at QR last year ~ I think what is missing is one of those big WR’s mike Mike Evens ~ Someone who can out jump DB’s and take the ball away on 3rd downs and the Redzone ~ The Vikings will be looking for another good WR now that Webb is gone ~ I dont know much about the guys on the PS but I have seen many fans talk about Rodney Smith who play well in college but couldn’t make the active roster ~ Maybe he steps up this year ~ ??? However I would love to see the Vikings add another WR with speed ~ I’m told Smith has good speed ~ Anyone know anything about this young man ~ ???

    • http://thevikingage.com Ben Gotz

      Smith wasn’t highly productive in college, but as you said, he does have a lot of speed because he ran a 4.43 40 at the Combine last year. He definitely is a deep threat, since he averaged 29 yards per catch last year (off of only three receptions last year). He’ll get an opportunity to take Joe Webb’s place on the roster this year, and his ability to get down the field could be valuable in Turner’s offense.

  • Thomas Cahill

    I believe Mariota & Winston will both be day one starters and those two may very well be better than Luck & Griffen. Unfortunately for the Vikings their window to get to the Super Bowl with the best Running Back in Football is shrinking. It needs to get done within 3 years. AP needs a ring. I would like to see Adrian get there and get the MVP for the game.

  • Paul

    1st Rd. grab the LB Mack, 2nd Rd.- get AJ McCarron, he’s a really good QB with a winning track record, he’s smart, has good pocket presence, good footwork, and knows how to read defenses. His only knock is that he doesn’t have a rifle for an arm, but with an offense centered around AP he doesn’t need a rocket arm, just needs to dink and dunk trying to get it into the hands of the other playmakers who can run it in from anywhere on the field.

    • http://thevikingage.com Ben Gotz

      Well if you believe the reports we mentioned on this site a few hours ago (which is a big “if” at this time of year) you’ve essentially got the Vikings draft plans nailed down (minus the exact name)! I actually think concerns about AJ’s arm are overblown, the only real question I about have about him is his ability to perform under pressure without a dominant offensive line like he had in college.

  • Tbonejones

    I say take a.j maccarron wait next year to pick up a future holder for our team unless a.j shines light for us.