It’s never too late in the process to throw out a tenuous piece of speculation based on little vague wisps of rumors, so here goes.
Jimmy Garoppolo, an afterthought through most of the pre-draft process for those of us who focus on the Vikings, is suddenly looking like a legit possibility for Minnesota in the early second or even late first.
I present as evidence a report from ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, tweeted by Evan Silva:
ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, who is live at #Vikings HQ: “One name I’ve heard mentioned here is Jimmy Garoppolo.” (MIN worked him out in April.)
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) May 8, 2014
And further evidence in this tweet from draft expert Mike Loyko:
Jimmy Garoppolo buzz is legit. I know two teams picking in the top ten, targeting him at top of the 2nd round, maybe sooner.
— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) May 8, 2014
Okay, only two pieces of evidence. Not a lot of dots to connect.
But more dots than we have to connect on a lot of other quarterbacks right now.
Garoppolo could be the Vikings’ fall back option if they elect not to snatch Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater off the board.
For what it’s worth, Mike Mayock thinks Garoppolo is better than Bridgewater anyway.
The 6-2, 226 pound Garoppolo emerged as a dark horse early in the pre-draft process after a good run at Eastern Illinois. Scouts like his quick release and nimbleness in the pocket but are not necessarily wowed by his arm talent.
Garoppolo would have one advantage over a QB like Johnny Manziel: his relatively low profile would take the pressure off the organization to start him right away. They would be able to redshirt him for a year behind Matt Cassel.
The Vikings looked at Garoppolo in April, but of course they looked at a lot of quarterbacks, so that doesn’t mean a heck of a lot by itself.