We Now Know Who Rick Spielman Would Like to Draft

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Rick Spielman was canned as the general manager of the Minnesota Vikings roughly two years ago after his organization failed to reach the postseason in two straight seasons. The rosters he built couldn’t compete, and the franchise remained in a mediocrity spiral. Minnesota’s leadership cleaned house and hired a new GM and head coach.

We Now Know Who Rick Spielman Would Like to Draft

We Now Know Who Rick Spielman Would Like to Draft
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One of the main criticisms about the longtime executive was his inability to find a young franchise quarterback in the draft, although it should be noted that Kirk Cousins has been with the Vikings for six seasons, and at some point, he deserves consideration for that label.

For different reasons, Spielman’s draft picks, Christian Ponder and Teddy Bridgewater, flamed out rather quickly. Ponder started for the Vikings but, simply put, wasn’t very good. Once the Vikings released him in 2014 after four years, his career was practically over, and he never played another snap in the league.

Bridgewater showed some promise but couldn’t live up to his first-round price tag before an injury derailed his career. He is now in the final stages of his career, which turned into that of a journeyman spot starter and backup.

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Despite that resume, Spielman is a draft analyst, and rightfully so, as only a few people have as much experience in the business, and he also talks about quarterback prospects. Recently, some comments on the With the First Pick podcast about presumed first-overall pick Caleb Williams created some interest.

He was asked if he would pick Williams over former first-overall picks, and of course, Baker Mayfield, Bryce Young, and Travon Walker are just some of the no-brainers.

However, he also had some spicy takes. Trevor Lawrence, regarded as one of those can’t-miss prospects in the 2021 draft, would not get the nod over Williams from the former Vikings’ GM.

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But then the crew went back to Andrew Luck. He was the next big thing in 2012. Spielman said it was a toss-up, but he would give Luck the slight edge. In 1998, Peyton Manning was the first overall pick, and John Elway in 1983. Those three guys usually get mentioned in one group as the best prospects of the last 40 years.

Sure-fire Hall of Famers, barring injuries. Spielman decided to pick Williams over Elway and Manning. Both guys had Hall of Fame careers and won multiple Super Bowl trophies.

Just last year, Spielman alluded to first overall pick Young as “a generational type quarterback if this guy was 6-1, 210 pounds” so he is perhaps trying a little too hard to find the next generational passer.

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Regardless, Williams has gotten an absurd amount of hype in the last few years, so calling him generational might not be a stretch, and Spielman is by far not the only one doing it.

In three college seasons–one at Oklahoma and two at USC–Williams has passed for 10,082 yards, 93 touchdowns, and only 14 interceptions while also adding roughly 1,000 yards and 27 scores on the ground. He is the prototypical modern-day quarterback, offering mobility combined with a great arm and playmaking ability.

Vikings fans have a serious interest in the 22-year-old because they are in the market for a passer in the upcoming draft with Cousins aging and without a contract for the next season. But Williams is likely out of reach as the expected first-overall pick.

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However, the division rivals Bears are on the clock and can pick the star from USC if they want to move on from Justin Fields.

The good news for fans of the purple team is that Spielman’s success as a QB evaluator has been shaky at best. Kellen Mond can barely find a roster spot, and it took him almost a decade between Favre and Cousins to fill the spot with the previously mentioned busts.

Williams is one of the most polarizing prospects to come out of college in recent years, and there will be a whole lot more hot takes in the following months leading up to the draft.

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