Former Vikings GM Thinks There’s a Patrick Mahomes in the 2023 Draft

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Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the golden ticket to a dynasty. He could very well be the best player ever and is undoubtedly one of the most dominating ones in league history. In addition, he’s doing it at the most critical position in the sport, in the most pass-happy era ever.

Every team in the NFL wants to find its own Mahomes, but that is much easier said than done. A generational quarterback like Mahomes is in the draft, exactly, once every generation.

Former Vikings GM Thinks There's a Patrick Mahomes in the Upcoming Draft
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One could argue that in the last generation, the one before Mahomes arrived, there have been Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. Three quarterbacks in the span of 20 years mean a low chance of getting a passer of that caliber.

Between Rodgers and Mahomes was a 12-year waiting period. Excellent quarterbacks like Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow are still in the early stages of their careers. Maybe one or more of the group could separate themselves from the competition and join Mahomes’ class. One thing is sure, there won’t suddenly be a double-digit number of Mahomeses in the game, but at least one person thinks the next one is available in the draft.

Former Vikings GM Thinks There’s a Patrick Mahomes in the Upcoming Draft

Former Vikings GM Thinks There's a Patrick Mahomes in the Upcoming Draft
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Rick Spielman, part of the Minnesota Vikings organization from 2006 to January 2022 and now a free-agent executive and analyst on various platforms, appeared on the CBS Sports podcast With the First Pick, where he compared Alabama quarterback Bryce Young to the NFL’s best QB.

I think he has a lot of Patrick Mahomes style to him, and by that I mean he is one of the best off-schedule throwers that I’ve seen coming out of the collegiate game. He does a great job for a small quarterback with his vision down the field. His anticipation and the way he throws the ball and he throws receivers open.

Young is a great prospect and the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board. In the last two seasons, Young appeared in 27 games and passed for 8,200 yards, 79 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions. His size, however, is a concern. Young was listed at Alabama at 6 feet and 194 pounds. Some believe he could turn out even smaller and lighter when the NFL combine arrives.

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A smaller stature is no longer a death sentence for NFL careers. Kyler Murray was the first overall pick in 2019. No matter the non-problematic examples of the past, it will be the dominant subject in the next months until the draft arrives. The former Vikings GM thinks it could turn into a problem for the passer, but he is too good to fall far, if at all.

Now, if this guy was 6-1, 210 pounds, he’s a generational type quarterback, in my opinion, but since he’s so small, everybody’s going to be nervous as heck to take him, because one, is he going to be durable enough to go through a preseason, go through 17 games, go through — if they get all the way to the Super Bowl — that many games and stay healthy? So that’s a big concern I think with a lot of teams.

Durability issues always come up with smaller quarterbacks. Drew Brees started his career with bad shoulder problems, Tua Tagovailoa has concussion issues, and Kyler Murray tore his ACL, even if it was a non-contact injury.

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) drops back to throw the ball against Georgia Bulldogs in the third quarter during the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Osu22uga Kwr 50

Other quarterbacks in the mix to be the top passer taken in the draft are Kentuck’s Will Levis and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. The two are much closer to the desired, prototypical QB size. Levis is listed at 6-3 and 232 pounds, Stroud at 6-3, 218 pounds.

The Vikings will most likely not be able to get any of the three. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would have to string together a trade package to get into the top ten unless one of the players unexpectedly falls down draft boards, which seems unlikely but not impossible. Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell already said Kirk Cousins would be the starter in 2023.

However, finding a successor for the aging quarterback could happen as early as in the upcoming draft.

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Former Vikings GM Spielman doesn’t have a great track record at finding quarterbacks. His two main shots at a signal caller in the draft were the two first-rounders Christian Ponder in 2011 and Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. Ponder departed from the Vikings in 2014 and retired in 2016.

Bridgewater was the starter for the purple team until 2015 before a knee injury prematurely ended his tenure in Minnesota. He left the team in 2018 and is still one of the top backups in the league. The two players combine for 66 passing touchdowns for the Vikings.

Spielman signed Kirk Cousins in 2018, who is still with the team.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt