Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) warms up prior to the game against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Peter King Thinks the Vikings Should Draft Blake Bortles


Noted NFL columnist Peter King has weighed in – no pun intended – on who he thinks the Vikings should draft to fill their quarterback need.

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Johnny Manziel. I’ll give you another hint: it’s not Teddy Bridgewater.

It’s the guy who, as everyone keeps saying, most “looks the part” of a franchise quarterback.

It’s the guy people keep saying would be a perfect fit for Norv Turner, noted admirer of big strapping QBs who aren’t necessarily the most mobile fellows in the world.

Yes, it’s Blake Bortles.

King is going with the argument that Bortles, for all his flaws, is the most sensible choice for the Vikings.

“I watch Blake Bortles on video, his accuracy and escapability and his occasionally questionable decision-making, and I can’t help but think of him as a Viking,” King writes on MMQB. “This is the kind of quarterback Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner loves: an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than Troy Aikman, a lover of the pocket in an era of escape artists, a 66-percent lifetime passer in three years at Central Florida. I doubt he makes it to No. 8, but that’s the best fit for me for Bortles in the top 10.”

It all sounds so perfect and logical. The Vikings even have a veteran QB in place, Matt Cassel, in case Bortles needs to redshirt for a year.

But here’s the question King overlooks: The Vikings may be the best fit for Bortles, but is Bortles the best fit for Rick Spielman?

Norv Turner may be running the offense, but Rick Spielman is the man making the personnel decisions. And Spielman has his own agenda that is quite separate from Norv’s.

Norv wasn’t in Minnesota in 2011 when Spielman spent the #12 overall pick on Christian Ponder. He wasn’t there for all Ponder’s struggles. He wasn’t there for the Great QB Mess of 2013.

He doesn’t have all that Ponder stain on his resume. Spielman does.

Rightly or wrongly, if Spielman drafts a QB at #8 and that QB fails, it will be Spielman’s head on the chopping block, not Norv’s.

Spielman has to ask himself: Do I really want to stake everything on Blake Bortles?

Remember, Spielman did not want to stake everything on Christian Ponder either. He tried trading down in 2011, but was stuck picking at #12.

Believing that he had no choice but to take a QB, Spielman held his nose and drafted Ponder.

Spielman has had a lot of time to think about that fateful decision. And here’s what I think he’s probably concluded:

It isn’t worth it.

Even if you need a QB badly, it isn’t worth drafting one high unless you are 100% certain about the player in question. You’re better off trading back, or just waiting until a later round.

Bortles may be a good fit in Minnesota in Peter King’s eyes, but he’s not a slam dunk. He’s not Andrew Luck.

As King himself admits, it’s probably a moot point anyway, because Bortles will be gone before #8. Even if he’s there, I don’t think the Vikings take him.

If Spielman can move back significantly in the draft and still get Bortles? Then maybe it happens. It’s just as likely he will trade back and go defense, then trade up into the late first and get Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater.

Or wait until the second round and draft Zach Mettenberger. Or wait until the third day and draft Logan Thomas.

There are other QBs in this draft who look the part of a Norv Turner QB, who can be had without spending the #8 overall pick and taking on all the pressure and crap that comes with drafting a QB that high.

Rick Spielman has been through it, and I believe he’s made up his mind. No quarterback at 8. No way, no how. Not even a perfect Norv fit like Bortles.

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  • David Mallow

    no QB in this draft , IMO, is first round talent

    • trinity

      I agree with you 100%. There is no standout QB in this draft. If I was forced to choose, I guess bottles is the safest bet.

      • Bjorn Lestrud


        • trinity

          Hahaha. Auto-correct strikes again. Let me edit that.

  • MikeH123

    Vikings need new GM. Spielman appears to lack the courage to draft a QB after getting burned on Ponder.

    • Farren

      Spielman is a fantastic

    • Jon

      If RS is squeamish about taking a qb because it’s too big of a risk for his own career, I don’t want him on the Vikings staff. I don’t think his career and what’s best for the team are necessarily the same thing.

  • Kerry Elmberg jr

    Manziel to mn best fit

  • Jorge

    Keep hearing there is no sure thing at qb, when is there luck, peyton, elway? I mean wasnt joey harrington, j. russell and ryan leaf were considered no brainers. Remember folks flacco came into the league with major flaws as did Big ben, They said Big ben needed to sit and watch for a year after all he had major footwork issues and he came from a smaller school as well. Next year lets say there is a for sure qb, ( winston and marriotta will be both be picked apart and arent for sure things) where do vikings select then ? out of top ten ? not to mention every year teams at the top of draft need a qb so even if there is a for sure thing next year at qb maybe one or lets say two for the sake of arguing, there would still be no guarantee you get him. If norv turner tells rick hey thats my guy i can turn him into a franchise qb i would listen. IF rick is scared cuz of the whole Ponder thing then he should probably be fired regardless.

  • David Crosby

    I say we stay away from QB’s in the first. Go D first then QB in the 2nd. Cassel is good enough to bridge for a year.

  • Eye Ball

    the best possible solution is to trade down & get more picks, draft defense in the 1st round, then take Mettenburger in the second, Zack fits Norv’s taste in QB’s and i believe will do fine learning from the bench under Norv while Castle lays the bridge, there’s no way we loose going this route, unless of course, our two first round picks on defense are busts, but that aint likely.

  • Eye Ball

    This years 3rd round pick is very critical if this team is to see a division championship soon vs. later. This is also assuming that the 1st two picks in this draft were selections that are going to have a positive impact on the field this year and last years 3 #1′s continue to develope and have outstanding years. I think this team can stay on a championship track IF they draft a stud RB who can fill the change of pace/3rd down role (Chester Taylor ring any bells ), and then eventually take over the starting job once AP retires. i gotta a bad feeling in my bones about AP this year, I fear the injury bug strikes again and he will miss significant time, if we don’t take the pass catcher, pass blocker, between the tackles race horse, we are going to regret it and we will miss having a stud in our backfield. who would you all draft? And I know, I know, I know, I know, when your team is coming off a 5/10/1 record from a year ago,,,,,,,,ALL THE PICKS ARE CRITICAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!