Thursday, January 9, 2014

Minnesota Vikings 2014 NFL Draft Prospects

With the NFL Draft quickly approaching in May, chatter is heating up about who the Vikings should, or could take with their 8th overall pick. Many assume we will go after a quarterback. However, with multiple teams ahead of us looking in the same direction, what is our best option? Let's take a look at possible scenarios in order of likeliness.

Scenario 1 (45%)

"The Stretch"

Many of the updated mock drafts have Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles all going before us. Unfortunately, we still need a quarterback. We go with the next best option. That is Fresno State QB Derek Carr. You may remember his older brother, David, and his days with the Texans. This is not ideal, as everyone agrees he is a drop off from the top three. But the arguement for him as that we have an above average offensive line, and great weapons in Patterson and Peterson. We don't need a great QB, just a solid one. Carr played great for the majority of the season against a decent Mountain West Conference, but played less than top 10 worthy in the Las Vegas bowl against USC. Still, some fans would be moderately satisfied with this pick.

Scenario 2 (40%)

"Sit and Pray"

We decide against Carr, too big of a stretch at 8. Nobody is willing to trade down so we hope for the best. Even though four, arguably five teams ahead of us need a QB, we will take the chance at one of the top three falling. Give it about a 5 percent chance. If that doesn't happen, we grab a linebacker, something we also desperately need. While some fans would be infuriated, others would understand, especially if we can get one of the top LBs. The top three are Khalil Mack from Buffalo, Anthony Barr from UCLA, and C.J. Mosely from Alabama. Any of these guys would significantly improve our horrid linebacking crew. This strategy seems to be the most logical without trading, drafting the best player in one of two positions we need badly.

Scenario 3 (15%)


You never thought it would happen, our front office makes a big move to get a top QB. In the age where quarterback is everything, an elite one could make us a playoff team for years to come. We would certainly have to give up at least a future first rounder, maybe even young talent, but the payoff could be enormous. Presumably, we would be talking to Saint Louis or Cleveland at picks 2 and 4. Although they both could use a QB, they are a little less desperate than the other teams at the top. Still, these teams know what they would be giving up. This trade would not come cheap. The result, however, would be one of the top 3 superstar QBs. (Bridgewater is the only one sure to be gone by 4, there is a small chance is available at 2). The most likely pick from this scenario is the Heisman winner, Johnny Football. The state of Minnesota would be ecstatic with this pick, more so than anyone else on the board. The excitement is already buzzing, even though it appears our shot at him is minimal. If Manziel joined AP and Cordarrelle in purple, the league would have it's new most talented team.

The Call

Just our luck, I think our best option is 3, followed by 2, and inevitably ending in 1. I just don't see any of the top 5 teams trading down to us, and it looks like 3 QBs will be picked in those slots. If this somehow happened, the Vikings would for the first time in a while have a top, young talent at the position. I would be alright with us following the "Sit and Pray" model, but something tells me if Carr is the only QB left we would cave and grab him.
A lot can happen from now until May still. If the combine doesn't go as planned for Bridgewater, Manziel, or Bortles, pick #8 may be more inclined to land one of them. My gut feeling says Bortles will be the one to not impress scouts, so look for him to fall a couple of spots in the mocks. Maybe the UCF star will be who we end up with, and I would be perfectly fine with that.

 My Top 4 QBs

For what it's worth, here are my top 4 QB's in order, for the Minnesota Vikings.

Manziel would make our team dynamic

The media has to talk about Bridgewater at some point, right?
Bortles has an NFL body and impressed against Baylor

Carr had a good season, but played poorly against USC

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