Is Garrett Gilbert the Vikings’ Secret Draft Crush?


Oct 5, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs quarterback Garrett Gilbert (11) throws during game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have by this point been linked, on a purely speculative basis at least, with just about every quarterback prospect you can name.

They supposedly love Teddy Bridgewater.

They are very high on Derek Carr as well.

Norv Turner is intrigued by Tajh Boyd.

AJ McCarron? They like that kid too.

Johnny Manziel, sure his pro day was a sideshow, but Norv Turner was impressed by his accuracy.

We’ve speculated as well, if only casually, about Logan Thomas, and Tom Savage, and Zach Mettenberger and Jimmy Garoppolo.

But what if the guy the Vikings really love isn’t any of the above?

This is just more speculation on top of the other speculation, but it’s something that’s worth throwing out there:

Maybe SMU QB Garrett Gilbert is the guy the Vikings are secretly crushing on?

Conspiracy theorists and smokesreen speculators, take note:

On Friday Garrett Gilbert held a pro day workout that blew a bunch of people away, including Gil Brandt, who said Gilbert looked better than half of the QBs at the combine.

The numbers: He measured in at 6-3 7/8, 221 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.81 seconds, had a 29.5-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-9 broad jump, ran the short shuttle in 4.43 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.30 seconds, per Brandt.

22 teams sent representatives to Gilbert’s work out. Were the Vikings there in any capacity? I don’t know.

I do know that the big names were not present. Neither was Vikings QB coach Scott Turner. If they sent a rep, it was some low-level stooge.

Does this signal lukewarm interest on the Vikings’ part, or are the Vikings just pretending they don’t care about Gilbert for tactical reasons?

Are the Vikings making a big show about evaluating these other more-hyped QBs because they want to throw everyone off the scent? Is Rick Spielman the poker ace at it again?

Has Rick Spielman had Gilbert at the bottom of his notebook since day one?

A more fundamental question: Why should we be intrigued by Gilbert in the first place?

Well, the kid has talent. He has a big arm and can really spin the football. Unfortunately he is somewhat damaged goods in the eyes of scouts.

Gilbert was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, but he bombed out at Texas. Hoping to salvage his career, Gilbert went to SMU to work under June Jones.

QB guru Jones reworked Gilbert’s game, and now according to Gil Brandt, Gilbert is a “different quarterback” than he was at Texas.

Teams are lining up private workouts, wanting to see more of this under-the-radar talent who was once seen as a major prospect.

Right now, Gilbert is viewed as a project, much like Tom Savage and Logan Thomas. If those guys are worthy of a mid-round pick as some people suggest, I can’t see why Gilbert is any different.

So far, there isn’t a single hint of any interest in Gilbert on the Vikings’ part. Depending on how much stock you put in smokescreen theories, that could be the greatest proof that the Vikings are all over this guy.

Not that we needed another name to toss in the mix, but we should probably toss Garrett Gilbert in the mix.

Adjust your seven-round mocks accordingly.

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