Vikings Could Rely on Lottery Ticket QB in Draft

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Unless the Minnesota Vikings leverage future draft picks, selecting a quarterback from the Top 10 of this year’s draft doesn’t make much sense.

The team has just five draft picks, thanks to trades from last year that landed T.J. Hockenson and Akayleb Evans. Then, Minnesota is scheduled to pick at No. 23, a purgatorial spot for quarterbacks in this draft unless Anthony Richardson (Florida) or Will Levis (Kentucky) curiously tumble — like really tumble — down the draft board.

Vikings Could Rely on Lottery Ticket QB in Draft

If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah does not splash into the Top 10 with a boisterous, tone-setting trade and Richardson + Levis do not fall all the way to No. 23, the Vikings will rely on lottery tickets for the quarterback of the future — mid-round picks.

Lottery Ticket QB
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Here’s the deal on mid-round quarterbacks from the NFL draft — folks only remember the ones that panned out. In the last decade or so, in Rounds 3 through 7, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, and Nick Foles (to an extent) are examples of how a team can hit in the draft’s lower rounds on a quarterback.

But then that’s it.

Wilson, Cousins, Prescott, and a sidedish of Foles are the only notable examples. All the rest tend to flame out, become career backup quarterbacks like Colt McCoy, or nibble at QB1 jobs while later falling flat.

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In sixteen drafts from 2000 to 2015, these are the numbers on quarterbacks drafted from Rounds 3 to 7. The 2nd Round was excluded for Vikings purposes, at least this year, because the team has no 2nd-Round pick; it has a T.J. Hockenson.

Percentage of QBs Who Started 50+ Gms,
NFL Drafts from 2000-2015,
by Round:

Round 1 = 64%
Round 2 = 39%
Round 3 = 20%
Round 4 = 14%
Round 5 = 0%
Round 6 = 3%
Round 7 = 6%

The Vikings could be plotting to select the quarterback on deck to succeed Kirk Cousins in Rounds 3 or 4 at the end of the month. And that would presumably be Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) — although Hooker has become a 1st-Round darling in the last two weeks — Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA), Clayton Tune (Houston), or a handful of others.

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The plan to onboard a Hooker, Thompson-Robinson, or Tune certainly isn’t silly or stupid. It’s just a gigantic scratch of a lottery ticket. Vikings fans will get excited rather quickly about one of the three, reminiscent of Kellen Mond two years ago. But Mond should be cited as a cautionary tale. There is no reason to believe Hooker, Thompson-Robinson, or Tune will be any different. It’s easy to say now, “Well, Mond wasn’t any good. I could see that coming.” But that’s revisionist history, thanks to the reference of hindsight. Folks, especially on draft night, were quite excited about Mond.

Overall — set your expectations. Getting excited about Hooker, Thompson-Robinson, or Tune is more than reasonable. In reality, though, Wilson, Cousins, and Prescott were the real deal, while about 100 others from Rounds 3-7 in the last 10+ years were no more than decent backups.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by