“Extra” Rookie QB Hits Vikings’ Draft Radar

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Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Extra” Rookie QB Hits Vikings’ Draft Radar

Tulane’s Michael Pratt could headline the next quarterback tier in the 2nd or 3rd Round. After that, it’s anybody’s ballgame for who could earn the general managers’ attention.

Until the Senior Bowl occurred last weekend.

Rookie QB Hits
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South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler joined the party, and accordingly, some Minnesota Vikings and media members have wiggled him onto the team’s draft board.

As of early February, Rattler is forecasted to go off the board in Rounds 4-7, but some are convinced his Senior Bowl showing could drag him into Round 3 or so. Here’s some of the Senior Bowl footage:

The Vikings, meanwhile, will likely be in the market for a quarterback of the future, with or without Kirk Cousins on the roster. Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency in five weeks, and if that comes to fruition, it will become almost mandatory for Minnesota to choose a rookie passer. Too, the Vikings could “do both” — re-sign Cousins and draft a quarterback to groom and develop for a year or two.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Kentucky.

The Rattler smoke wasn’t just from fans. SI.com took notice and dropped the Gamecock onto a list of players Minnesota could target in the draft. SI‘s Will Ragatz wrote Thursday, “Outside of Penix and Nix, there are five other quarterbacks in Mobile looking to turn heads and move up draft boards. Those are Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), Michael Pratt (Tulane), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Joe Milton III (Tennessee), and Carter Bradley (South Alabama). Of that group, Rattler is probably the most intriguing.”

Rattler is 6’1″ and 220 pounds and will be 24 by the time the regular season rolls around.

Drops One Hint
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“The No. 1 quarterback in a 2019 recruiting class that also included Daniels, Nix, and Sam Howell, Rattler began his career at Oklahoma before spending the last two seasons at South Carolina. He has plenty of tools, but his college production was inconsistent (48 TD passes, 25 INTs over the last three seasons after a breakout 2020 at OU). Rattler had a lot to gain this week and took advantage of the opportunity with an impressive week of practices. He might be a Day 2 guy,” Ragatz added.

Rattler possesses the arm talent to thrive in the NFL but is considered undisciplined at times and does not have the speed to be coined a mobile quarterback. Many Vikings fans want the closest thing to the total package for life after Cousins, and Rattler emphatically doesn’t have all the tools, at least not yet.

QB Begins to Hit
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The Vikings own the 11th overall pick in April, a spot where the aforementioned Penix Jr., McCarthy, and Nix could be gettable without a trade. Otherwise, if Minnesota covets a blue-chip prospect like Williams, Maybe, or Daniels, it would probably have to trade up the board on April 25th.

Minnesota hasn’t used 1st-Round draft capital on a quarterback in 10 years.

Before transferring to South Carolina, Rattler was a college teammate of current Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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