Draft Rumors: Vikings Will Trade Up to #2 for Blake Bortles


Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This new rumor has the advantage of novelty at least. It comes to us via WalterFootball and…it’s intriguing but a little dubious.

Here is the new rumor: the Vikings have Blake Bortles rated as the #1 QB on their board, and love him so much that they will try to work a trade with the Rams to get the #2 overall pick.

The report comes via Charlie Campbell, a “senior draft analyst” at WalterFootball.

“One team that is a prime contender to move up with St. Louis is the Minnesota Vikings. Sources have told us that the Vikings are a real contender to move up for Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles,” Campbell writes.

“That trade was documented in two recent mock drafts on WalterFootball.com in Walt’s trade mock and my mock . His good work ethic meshes well with the new coaching staff, and sources say that Bortles is the Vikings’ top-rated quarterback with Derek Carr as their No. 2 quarterback.”

Making such a trade would obviously require the Vikings to give up something very valuable, possibly a 2015 first rounder. Campbell argues that since the Vikings had three first round picks last year and two the year before, they can afford to deal a first rounder in order to finally get that potential franchise QB.

Does Campbell make a compelling case? Yes. Does it still seem like more than a little bit of a stretch?

Yeah, it does.

I’m perfectly willing to accept that the Vikings rate Bortles as the #1 QB. Looking at his physical attributes and skill set, it certainly makes sense that Norv Turner would like him.

But would Rick Spielman really part with a 2015 first rounder just to land Bortles?

It would be more than a bit of a gamble. We know Spielman is willing to gamble with draft picks when he identifies a player he really wants, because he did it last year to get Cordarrelle Patterson.

This is a gamble on a different level though. This is going all in.

If this failed, it would make the Christian Ponder debacle look like a puppy parade.

Of course if it succeeded, it would cement Rick Spielman’s reputation as a draft genius for all times.

If Bortles turned out to be the franchise QB the Vikings have been searching for in vain for all these decades…well, then Spielman would become the biggest man ever in Minnesota.

Thing is, folks who want to convince themselves of the legitimacy of the Bortles trade-up scenario shouldn’t have too hard a time finding evidence. It’s all right there, right?

Bortles isn’t being brought in for a workout. There hasn’t been much steam about him to the Vikings. It’s been all Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger, Teddy Bridgewater, etc.,

Classic Spielman misdirection, correct? If they want Bortles, the last thing they will do is act like they want Bortles. Especially if they’re planning to try a trade.

And all that talk about Spielman valuing draft picks and wanting to trade down to get more. More misdirection?

Well, he did trade a bunch of picks last year to get back into the first for Cordarrelle. So there’s precedent for Spielman sacrificing quantity in exchange for potential quality.

Giving up a first rounder though…like I said, that’s on a different level.

Such a gamble makes sense only if you buy the argument that Spielman and the Vikings are desperate to find that franchise QB this year, and have identified Bortles as the one player in this draft who projects to be that.

I suppose, if you’re the Vikings brain trust and you have Bortles as the one man who can be The Man, then you can justify going all in and giving up a future pick to get him.

But I still think that’s a stretch. I’m still not buying it right now.

It does spice things up though.

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