NFL Draft 2014

2014 Minnesota Vikings Draft: Rick Spielman Tortured by Quarterback Possibilities

Being a general manager is really, really hard.

I say that with only a little bit of sarcasm, because it’s true. It’s one of the most unforgiving jobs in sports, and fans are willing to judge a front office—whose job requires building with the long view in mind—on short term results contingent on high-variability picks. That is, if an FO makes long-term moves but misses on a high profile player, they suddenly get judged as “bad,” even though well-known GMs like Ozzie Newsome only ever drafted a good quarterback late in their careers (for Newsome, it was 2008, after 12 years with the organization and eight previous quarterback picks—including Kyle Boller in the first).

That difficult may have encouraged Rick Spielman to recently indicate that the Vikings are not set to necessarily pick a quarterback with the eighth selection in the NFL draft—though he didn’t rule it out either—in a presser held yesterday.

“The torture part of it, is you see a player sitting there when you pick who you know can help you right away, a significant player at another position, an impact player as a rookie. Then you ask yourself, ‘How do we feel about our options at quarterback in the second or third round? Is it close? Is there a big separation? Or is it close?’ We’ve broken them down in all the ways we could think of. Analytically—measuring them against their five toughest opponents, indoor-versus-outdoor, by psychological testing, and it is such a mixed bag.

“That’s a big reason why we made it a high priority to sign Matt Cassel back. Every one of these quarterbacks … nothing is a sure thing. There’s no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning. It is such a mixed bag with each player—every one of them has positives, every one of them has negatives. And if that’s the way you end up feelings, why don’t you just wait till later in the draft, and take someone with the first pick you’re sure will help you right now?

“I agree with that coach, whoever it is. It is torturous this year.”

Spielman was responding to a query that included comments from an anonymous quote from an NFL head coach who indicated that picking a quarterback this year was a “torturous” process. Spielman took that and ran with it, further adding:

“It’s a very tortuous process this year trying to figure out these quarterbacks because there’s a lot of different flavors of quarterbacks. There’s mobile quarterbacks, there’s pocket passers, so you really have to home in and decide what type of quarterback you want, what kind of quarterback and what traits fit the kind of system you’re about to run.

“You look at the traits of the quarterbacks in here and work in our offensive scheme and adjust to some of the traits that that player possesses. It’s going to be a very interesting process as we go through our own evaluation of these quarterbacks and try to home in on the particular type of quarterback that may be best for us.”

With Matt Cassel locked down, it’s true that the Vikings don’t have a gaping black hole at the position, but I wouldn’t necessarily characterize the Vikings as a team that’s not “boxed in” to selecting a passer, as Spielman indicates. The Vikings have had one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL for the past several years, and despite the fact that Cassel at times looked better, also had several wildly bad games to go along with his spotty career.

If the Vikings want to wait on a quarterback because they don’t think any of them are franchise passers, that’s fine. But if they’re waiting on a quarterback because none of them are “Andrew Luck,” that’s asinine—no quarterbacks are Andrew Luck, and if the Vikings want to wait on a once-in-a-decade prospect before selecting one, they’ll have to find a way to make sure they can do it at the same time they have the worst record in the NFL, because no one is trading out of that spot.

Functionally, that means Spielman has told people he is waiting for the impossible before he selects a quarterback.

In my view, it’s a good thing Spielman loves to lie. Not only is picking a quarterback in the first round a vastly more successful proposition, doing so in the first 13 picks makes a huge difference.

It may depend on what your definition of “success” is, but over 40% of the quarterbacks selected in those first 13 picks are successful. Contrast that to the top of the second round, where the likelihood remains around 14%.

That’s not to say they should pick a quarterback early in order to pick one early—perhaps there is no one they grade at having a first- or early second-round talent who is available—but they shouldn’t eschew it just because they see value there.

Peter King thinks the Vikings will really be tantalized by this option, though:

There are no sure things in the draft. I don’t know why people think that if the Vikings ignore a quarterback, they’re guaranteed to get a good player, especially at the eighth pick. The odds are better, but not much (the generalized success rate for non-quarterbacks over 21 drafts between picks one and thirteen is 48%, marginally more than quarterbacks at 42%).

In this specific draft, there is a deep quarterback class but it’s not necessarily flat like the receiver class is. While I could change my view of the quarterbacks based on further study, my scouting has indicated there is a clear drop-off after Bridgewater followed by a massive drop-off after Carr, Bortles and Manziel.

There is also a good amount of quality at the top for non-quarterbacks, so it may be safe to say that the success rate there is above 50%, but not by much. This is a particularly interesting consideration because the positions where it has elite players are also positions where the draft is historically deep (and the talent distribution is much flatter). The Vikings can grab a first-round quality receiver in the third round, and a top-tier cornerback in the second. Every seven-round mock draft I’ve participated in has had first-round quality guards fall to the fourth round, and even a second-round quality guard in the seventh (though that particular mock may have been a fluke).

Nothing can improve the team more than improving the most important position on the team. A quarterback is responsible for more than half of the offensive production on a team (even when you include the contributions from non-skill players, like linemen) and may be responsible for over 25% of a team’s success. There is no other player on the team responsible for more than 5% after that, unless you scheme in order to highlight who you already know is good (like Adrian Peterson). Picking a player to improve that 5% over picking a player to improve that 25% is short-sighted.

The point is, I really hope he’s lying again.

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  1. Yeah, this is probably more of his “Kalil – Claiborne – Blackmon, all the same to me” shenanigans.

    I could see them having a couple of non-QBs at the top of their board, who could be the pick if they fell to #8: Mack, Clowney, maybe Watkins, mayyyybe Donald if Zimmer somehow doesn’t like Floyd. Hard to believe they’d rank a CB (whichever) or OG (Robinson) or ILB (Mosley) higher than having their choice of the QBs available, especially if 2 or more of the top 4 fall that far.

    The functional effect of Spielman’s comments is that it can become conventional wisdom that they won’t take a QB at #8. That makes it easier for teams drafting ahead of them to believe that one of the top 4 QBs will fall to their second pick (Cleveland #26, the others at the top of the 2nd), which might make it easier for them to take a non-QB in the top 7, leaving more QBs on the board at #8.

    So we’ve got a guy with a track record of manipulating the narrative going very public (his remarks are in Peter King’s column) with comments that aim to create an impression that they won’t go QB at #8, the effect of which (if his comments are taken seriously) would only be to improve the QB prospects available to them at that pick.

    Smokescreen, must be.

  2. If any of you have read Walter Football’s draft rumor report card from 2013, you’d see that Peter King made 8 inaccurate draft rumor reports last year while no other “insider” had more than 5.

    I seriously wonder sometimes if King is in the business of taking money from teams in order to make false reports. THAT….or he’s overly credulous.

  3. Arif, this is the first time I’ve heard of A first round quality guard, much less first round quality guardS. Your the only person I know of that doesn’t think this is a weak draft for guards. Are you referring to Gene Robinson as a guard?

    Also, the first time seeing someone say there is a massive drop off after top tier qb’s. Why? Because mobility drops off after that?

    Norv needs a tall QB with a cannon for his offense. I know some people who very much dislike the thought of drafting mettenberger, you included I think, because of mobility issues. Shouldn’t we be looking at QB’s in the context of how productive they’d be in an Air Coryell offense. Mobility outside the pocket is the most overrated QB attribute.

    So where’s mettenberger’s scout report?!

  4. I believe that Spielman wants a QB in the first round – and I think that the FA moves on defense will allow Zimmer to get on board by feeling more comfortable passing on defense in round 1. Lastly, I believe in Turner to identify a prospect of worthwhile risk, and so I think that if the Vikings take a QB in the first round it is because Spielman, Zimmer and Turner all wanted to and all agreed on one guy as being worth the pick.

    The Cassel signing can be read a few ways, but one I have not heard much about is that it buys the rumor of Minnesota selecting a non-QB at pick 8 more credibility. That’s not a good enough reason to sign him by itself, but it’s a nice benefit.

  5. As Arif points out in exacting and extensive detail, using silly notions like statistical analysis and demonstrated history, the Vikings need to draft the best available QB who fits their system in the first round. If they can slide back a few spots in the process, then Skol to Spielman (who happens to have more tricks up his sleeve than Loki)!

    With more needs at LB, CB, OG to be sure and more depth at other positions, I can live with the #10 ranked guard out of Schmedlap State, but I have to have the best QB I can get while we have a chance to get him at #8 (or so) versus at #32 after housing a few Valkeries in Valhallah in the next few years!

  6. As many as 5 of the 7 teams picking in front of the Vikings may be looking to draft a qb this year. If Bridgewater is as good as you say he is, I don’t see how all of those teams will pass on him. Let’s say just 2 of the 5 take a qb high, where does that leave the Vikings? Choosing Carr or Bortles or Manziel depending on who got taken. My guess is their board will have someone like Barr or Mosely rated as bpa at that point, not one of the qb’s, and they’ll go with that. Rick doesn’t need to put his job on the line, regardless of Ozzie Newsome’s history. Ozzie may have been cozy with ownership, or kept around for some other reason. Or the Raven’s being defensive stalwarts may have led ownership to not have cared about the qb position as much. They won a super bowl with Dilfer and defense after all. I can see us contending with Cassell and defense. The two aren’t that far apart, in fact I’d argue that Cassell has a better arm. Imagine if Norv could get him to reduce some of those mistakes and produce like he did in his 2 really good years…

    You may be right that The Spielman is holding out for a qb who isn’t likely to come along ever, or come along when the Vikings have a high enough pick to get him, but Christian Ponder burned RS badly enough that he’s a lot more conservative about this process, would be my guess.

    Also the stuff about %’s by round is confusing. Are you saying if we take Tom Savage at #8, he has a 40% or so chance to be good because we took him high? Part of why guys in the 1st round end up being the Tim Couch’s and Ryan Leaf’s and Ryan Sims of the NFL world is that NFL gm’s get sold on them for the wrong reasons.

    They make mistakes, and any one of the touted top 4 qb’s including Bridgewater could end up being a mistake. So I don’t think RS can just draft a qb at 8 because it’s a higher % crapshoot. It’s still a crapshoot and he only gets one roll of the dice. He really should draft the bpa, which has worked pretty well for him the last couple years when he was in full control of the draft. And if the bpa on the Vike’s board is a defender, so be it.

    1. By the same notion, drafting any defensive player at 8 is just as much of a gamble as taking a quarterback at 8. We have added some key pieces to our defense that will surely help it improve. I would argue that the offense is in need of more help at the game’s most important position than the state of our current defense. Drafting a competent, and someone who is potentially a top 10 quarterback, will help increase our offensive efficiency and drive sustainability. Cassel MAY be better than Dilfer, but our defense is nowhere near that of the 2000 ravens. Is adding Khalil Mack, a rookie linebacker, and maybe a great one, going to transform our defense that significantly? Would it change things for us as much as a quarterback who can win games on his own? I can’t say for certain, but I suspect the answer is no. Apart from Mack, or Mosely, we would still have a sub-par LB corps and mediocre DBs. Then you don’t pass on a franchise signal caller at 8. Rick’s job is going to be on the line regardless of who he drafts, so why not take a shot now? If they show signs of development, and maybe stardom, then you continue to groom and develop them. This is true, I believe, for a player on either side if the ball at 8. However, you want your franchise QB in place as soon as possible. Working under the assumption that Cassel isn’t the future, and I don’t think he is, you want to get the next guy in there as soon as possible to find out whether or not they are that guy. If they are, then you’re set. If you wait, you will be in the same position as before, waffling on whether or not to take a QB high because you got burned once. By that time, you may be in an even worse position (8 is not exactly enviable considering all of the QBs could be gone and there aren’t many trade opportunities). Then it basically comes down to mortgaging your future, because you will likely have to move up a lot, to get that franchise guy. People will have the same doubts and say the same things about next years QBs.

    2. Comet, I clarified in that article, like I did in the article linked to it, that drafting a QB high doesn’t automatically make him a better shot at being a success.

      But a QB with a first-round grade drafted that high does. If they have no first-round grade on QBs, so be it. No need to draft them high.

      It turns out your chances of getting a Tim Couch or a Ryan Leaf are included in those statistics. You could also get Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. What’s your point there? People were sold on them for the wrong reasons (although with Ryan Leaf, that’s not quite true—the talent was there, the attitude was not. Just needed more thorough investigation). We don’t know what future reasons quarterbacks are going to fail because of. That doesn’t mean you don’t take a shot. Teams either need to have a ton of great players or a good QB to do well.

      The chances of getting a ton of great players is lower than the chances of getting a good QB. So try to get a good QB. Waiting for the next Andrew Luck will mean waiting forever.

      Also, what is a higher % crapshoot? Saying “crapshoot” means that there is no way to predict what will happen—not true of the draft. First-rounders generally do better than second-rounders,who generally do better than third-rounders and so on. It’s difficult to say what exactly will happen, sure, but that doesn’t mean everything is always in flux and you have no idea what’s going to happen.

      If he drafts the BPA and it is a defender, it will have a smaller chance of helping the team than going one tier below and drafting a quarterback. That’s just how it is: the quarterback is the most important player on the field. Improving the defense by 2-7% is not the same as improving the offense by 10-20%.

      1. I fully disagree. They ‘took their shot’ with Ponder. Seemingly using simialr percentage algorithims and deductions. How’d that work? This year is different, as numerous professionals have stated, that there is no clear number one QB. People are all over the map about weather some of these guys even belong in the first round. I’ll take the sure-er so called ‘lock’ in Mack. I don’t think you realize how a stud defender and true leader on defense impacts a team. We really haven’t had one since Winfield, who made up for not having the usual LB captain type. In theory, I agree with you. But, applying this logic to this years QBs seems like a big mistake.

        1. First thing: I don’t think they used my analysis to make their pick. Second, I’ve answered the Ponder bit below. Don’t let one pick define your strategy from here on out—it’s asinine.

          Ponder didn’t work out because the strategy of picking a mid-first QB early is a bad idea. He didn’t work out because he was a BAD QB.

          1. Well of course he didn’t work out because he’s a bad QB. If he was good he would’ve worked out? What does that have to do with not believing our willing to risk high picks on hard to gauge prospects? You’re proving me right. RS would have taken LESS flak if he picked a good DEF player at 12 that year, then Ponder in the 2nd. Ponder wouldn’t have been a bust then, and we would presumably have another 1st rd talent on DEF entering his prime.

          2. They thought they rated him decent and picked him too high when nobody else even had him listed/graded near that spot. There is a lot of smoke screening and what-not, but, there is something to the collective idea of the industry on where prospects grade out.

        2. While I like Mack, there is no such thing as a ‘lock’. Remember Aaron Curry from a few years ago, Mike Mayock, who I think is one of the better talent evaluators, declared him the ‘safest prospect’ in the draft and look how that panned out.

  7. Can Comet52 do a guess post? Clear concise and real. I think it’s Chad Greenway lol

  8. Jessie- i think comet meant just because we draft a QB at 8 doesn’t mean that guy will be a top ten QB. Of course having us draft a QB and having him turn out as just that IS more important, but that doesn’t mean if we draft the best QB available du jour, in this draft, he automatically pans out that way.

  9. Drafting D at 8 is not the same gamble as drafting a qb, because a lot more rides on a high round 1 qb pick – expectations, etc. You can see how the let down with Ponder has hurt the franchise. We’d have been better off playing a journeyman or waiting to make a smarter decision like Kapernick.

    Any draft pick is a gamble, but qb in the top 10 is a Big gamble. To say you must not pass on a franchise qb at 8 implies you have certainty that one of the top qb prospects is in fact a franchise guy. I don’t think that level of certainty exists about any of these guys, though Bridgewater clearly is a cut above the others in terms of potential and where he’s at.

    And as I said, if a real “franchise” guy exists in this draft, there are 5 teams ahead of us with long term need at qb and I doubt such a guy will drop into our laps. At 8 you are picking from among a batch of guys with real question marks and to say “this is our qb of the future” is a big roll of the dice and I don’t see why Spielman and Zimmer need to make that roll right now. If you have other guys rated ahead of the remaining qbs then reaching for a signal caller is likely to end up being Christian Ponder part deux.

    1. Yes, drafting a defensive player risks less. For the same reason that drafting a defensive player helps less: they have a smaller impact on the team.

      Christian Ponder was a bad pick not because he was a reach, but because he was a bad quarterback. If the Vikings “reached” for Colin Kaepernick, then no one would be complaining now.

      1. Agreed. I also wonder if the Vikes have a guy targeted at 8, and if he’s not there they will try to trade back and stockpile picks for moving around in the draft. Zimmer’s interview with Joe, he said something interesting: a perfect draft for the Vikings would net multiple starters and multiple depth guys who will develop into starters when other guys leave, retire, get hurt, etc. I was surprised by this because it suggests to me that Zimmer sees more to upgrade than most casual fans. Or maybe I’m just surprised that he admitted it. The more I think about it, tho, the more I can see them structuring the draft to target a specific guy at the top, or drop back and get more guys in the late first through the fourth round, you know?

        An example would be that they’ve targeted Bridgewater or Mack as their guys at 8, just making names up here. If they’re both gone, drop back to 12-20 and draft BPA defensive or QB available AND pick up more shots at getting the DB depth you want, the guard you want, a RB or WR, whatever it is. It’s supposedly a deep draft, and this strategy would be classic Speilman. He loves to ‘tier’ guys, and he’s not afraid to move around to nab more of them.

      2. No. He was/is a bust because he’s a bad QB and we reached for him. He wouldn’t have been a bust if we didn’t draft him that high, he would’ve been a project.

  10. Arif, you and I argued this over at DN and now we’re arguing it here. I get that you love the stats but a g.m. with a job on the line simply isn’t going to make decisions by looking at a stats chart and saying ok, let’s take Blake Bortles here because we have a 40% chance to be right and we really *need* a qb. I think RS pretty much did that once already and people have a tendency to be really cautious about making the same mistake twice, unless they’re just butt-stupid in which case, if RS is butt stupid it really doesn’t matter who we take because or long term prospects suck. However if the last 2 drafts are any indication, RS is not butt-stupid.

    It’s just my opinion, but I maintain that the only qb they will take at 8 is Bridgwater if he’s available, which I doubt will be the case. If their grade on the remaining qb’s is lower than the grade they have on any non-qb, that will be enough for both Spielman and Zimmer to decide that a qb later on is their choice. And you can criticize them to death when it happens, if that’s your choice.

    Oh and btw my question about Savage was purely rhetorical. I just wanted to get you motivated 🙂

    1. The stats were just to demonstrate a point I already know to be true, which is that it is much, much better to get a first-round QB than a third-round QB. All this does is indicate by how much (over three times as much, it turns out).

      I’m not asking any GM to “look at the stats” solely to make a decision. There is no stathead on the planet who thinks that, and for some reason, people seem to think that stats guys don’t watch the game or understand how people make decisions. I use the statistics to explain the magnitude of the difference and inform decisionmaking, not define it. You’re not characterizing my argument correctly, and I think you know it.

      … and honestly, the thought process you described would be OK if Blake Bortles was graded as a first-round pick by the FO.

      Like I said, GMs shouldn’t determine their strategies or be judged by one pick—but here everyone is defining their QB strategy because of the Christian Ponder pick. I hope Spielman is “butt-stupid” not to be tricked by an event that happened ONCE.

      Seriously, a QB a tier or two below a defensive player will help the team more than that defensive player. 80% of a great QB is much, much better for a team than 100% of a great defensive player.

  11. Here’s another perspective, as far as ‘taking shots’. IF there is no Luck-type clear #1, then why not take a low-risk shot at a Mettenberger, or Murray? When a more seemingly #1 comes along worth the risk wouldn’t we still have the right to target said player?

    1. I think the Vikings should draft two quarterbacks, one early and one late.

      But the issue with only taking one late is that it only has a small likelihood of improving the most important position. Even then, there’s no guarantee the Vikings will be in a position to grab a good QB in the next few drafts, so they mire about with Matt Cassel for several years. This may be the best shot the Vikings have at selecting a good quarterback.

      Not only do “Andrew Lucks” come around every 10-15 years, the team with the first overall pick is almost guaranteed to draft him. You want to wait another ten years for a 1/32 shot at improving the QB position?

      1. Is it their best chance? By virtue of the pick’s position, but not by the prospects available, imho.

        1. Their best chance was the year Luck was available, and Frazier ruined it. History also says not to force the draft and pick just to pick a guy high.

  12. And, if Bridgewater is the leader of this pack, that is really scary. I saw a segamnet with him and a couple of the other prospects sitting down with Marriucci. He seemed to mock the questions and laugh at how they are coached to answer questions. The look on Marriucci’s face was like WTF?

  13. I don’t intend to mischaracterize your argument but I’m not sure I entirely understand it. A successful 1st round qb pick improves your team 25% as you put it, but what does an unsuccessful one do? It makes you stumble around for 3 years with CP7, in one prominent example. If an unsuccessful one “unimproves” your team 25% versus say, you draft Anthony Barr and he goes bust thereby unimproving your team 5%, what is the less risky play if you are the g.m. and you already blew it at qb in 2011?

    Regardless of all this your argument seems to be that RS should gamble, and gamble big. Which is fine, but I don’t think it’s who he is. I think he already did it with CP7 and he won’t do it again. Rick Spielman would, butt-stupid or not, need an extraordinary amount of confidence and sense of his own job security to go out on a limb for a first round qb at #8, which to me says only Bridgewater is good enough to make RS climb out on that limb, unless the Vikings know something about the other qb’s that I don’t, or they’ve fallen in love with JFF’s hype. I doubt it.

    And this is because of the Ponder pick, whether you think that’s smart behavior or not, it’s human behavior. Can RS afford to swing and miss at a big pitch again? That’s the key question, stats or no stats. He might not have ownership that’s as patient as Ozzie’s, we just don’t know.

    Matt Cassel for better or worse, some lower round qb(s) as projects for Norv, Zimmer building a fierce defense… a first round linebacker. I think that’s RS’s plan, butt-stupid or otherwise.

    1. An unsuccessful defensive player and an unsuccessful QB have the same cost if they bust—no improvement (because the Vikings already have players at the bottom of their positions).

      You made the argument for me. They both don’t improve the team if they bust, so the net value added is zero. But if the QB hits, it’s a 25% improvement. If the defender hits, it’s a 5% improvement.

      There is no reason to evaluate “gain not added” in this specific context. It’s not “riskier” to miss out on 5% against 25%. It’s merely not as beneficial.

  14. I don’t agree that there’s no cost to picking an unsuccessful qb. 1st round qb busts set teams back, often severely. Teams waste years waiting for the qb to “develop” when in fact he never will. They are worse off in that case than if they just went with a journeyman qb and tried to win drafting defense and better skill players. Bad high level qb picks cost coaches and gm’s their jobs as well.

    Bad high round picks are a good example of opportunity cost – while other teams get the good players and advance and have success, you spin your wheels having missed your chance. I don’t get the notion you are pushing that bad picks mean nothing. Denny Green once referred to Dmitrius Underwood as a “bonus pick” implying that his terrible selection didn’t count. Of course it did. Bad picks hurt your team because you waste time dealing with their lack of success or off field issues, etc.

    In any event, come May we’ll see how things turn out for the Vikings.

    1. That’s a different argument. You were asking what it means to miss out on 5% gained vs. missing out on 25% gained. Those are the same misses. Here, the opportunity cost of the pick goes both ways—if they could have selected an avg QB or a defensive playmaker, they still miss out by getting the defensive playmaker.

      No defensive team has won the Super Bowl with a terrible QB, which is what Matt Cassel is. Dilfer was around 20th, McMahon went to the Pro Bowl that year, and Russell Wilson was top ten in efficiency.

      So, it’s the same as setting the franchise back for several years—because the Vikings won’t be in a position to select that high-level draft prospect that can turn into an average-to-elite QB in the future if Zimmer really is a good coach (and if he’s not a good coach, it won’t matter).

      A bad high-level QB pick won’t set the franchise back any more than sticking with Cassel. If the Vikings pick later, they won’t get that QB in this current window (the Peterson/Jennings/Sullivan window).

      I know bad picks are bad because of opportunity cost, but it’s not relevant here, because we were ALREADY discussing the opportunity cost—another playmaker. I also get that they can “set the team back” but no more than sticking with a terrible QB already under center.

  15. 25% percent is an arbitrary number. There is only one team in the league who relies on one person that much, Packers. Vikes were 10-6 in 2012, and I would say AP was that 25%, a running back. Also, your 1st rd QB equation would be ignored ten years ago: Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, was Gannon a first rounder (idk)

  16. Well Arif I get your arguments but I don’t think you are hearing mine. RS’s decision making process as I see it is more complex than simply taking a qb at 8 if one of the top 4 is available. Let’s see what the team does in May and leave it at that.

  17. Some of what I take from Arif’s argument is: We are going to be so good in the coming years that we will be picking out of the top 10. So, based on that guess, pick a questionable QB high in hopes he can fill a 25% position quota over a possible, yet close to sure thing, Ray Lewis-type LB, or other DEF commodity.

  18. Proof in the pudding to me is improving the team DEF on 3rd down. Improve the defense and Cassell suddenly doesn’t seem that bad.

  19. As a fan I have to put faith into the management team picking the best QB available for the system they will be installing. The differce here from the past draft that produced Ponder in the 1st round it that Turner is part of the mnaagement team. Hopefully he can identify the best QB of this class that will be available at pick number 8. If his guy is gone by that time, he will have alternatives available in the 2nd round.

    Thant said, I would be elated to have the Vikings pick their guy at #8. If they wait until the 2nd round for a QB, then I would love to see the follwoing.

    Trade back to the mid to late teens and pick CJ Mosely (Draf Countdown has hime going at 21). Then use the extra picks aquired to trade back up into the late teens and draft Calvin Pryor (Draft Countdown has him at 20). If thoe guys are not available, there are many more options in that range that can help this defense.