Former Vikings GM is bananas about top 2024 QB prospect

Former USC quarterback Caleb Williams
Former USC quarterback Caleb Williams / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman believes former USC quarterback Caleb Williams could be a better NFL player than Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

During his tenure with the franchise from 2006 to 2021, Rick Spielman was part of a Minnesota Vikings front office that drafted a number of young quarterback prospects, a group that included Tarvaris Jackson, Christian Ponder, and Teddy Bridgewater, among others.

Unfortunately, none of these selections wound up turning into franchise signal-callers for the Vikings. So Spielman's track record when it comes to quarterback prospects isn't exactly the greatest.

So when the former Minnesota general manager's thoughts on former USC quarterback Caleb Williams became more widely known in the last few days, a few eyebrows were definitely raised.

Former Minnesota Vikings GM thinks Caleb Williams is better QB prospect than Peyton Manning and John Elway

A clip has recently been making the rounds of Spielman during an appearance on the "With The First Pick" podcast from CBS Sports earlier this year.

The former Vikings general manager was asked how many of the past No. 1 draft picks in the past he would take Williams over, and some of his answers might shock a few people.

Some of the players Spielman would've selected Williams with the No. 1 pick over aren't that surprising, like Bryce Young, Trevon Walker, and Baker Mayfield.

But then the former Minnesota general manager said he would take the 2024 quarterback prospect over multiple players who are currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, like Peyton Manning and John Elway.

Excuse me? That is quite the claim for Spielman to make about a player who hasn't even appeared in an NFL game in his lifetime yet.

There is at least one top draft pick from the past that the former Vikings general manager did say he would still select with the No. 1 pick even if Williams were on the board, and that is former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Spielman said it would probably be a toss-up between Luck and Williams, but in the end, he would probably go with Luck.

Keep in mind, this is also the same guy who, most recently, used a third-round selection on former Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond in the 2021 NFL Draft when he was still Minnesota's general manager.

Currently, Mond is a free agent after spending part of the 2023 season on the Colts practice squad.

This is not to say that Williams isn't going to be a good pro quarterback. But we might want to slow down on saying he's better than guys who have already earned a gold jacket after their careers in the NFL.

Perhaps Spielman will turn out to be correct with his strong opinion about Williams. But based on the majority of his quarterback evaluations during his tenure with the Vikings, one shouldn't bet on it.