What if the Vikings Roll the Dice at Quarterback?

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When the Minnesota Vikings traded for a second first-round pick, it seemed to ensure they would move up in the draft and select their quarterback of the future. What if they use that draft capital to fix other issues, see what they have in Sam Darnold, and roll the dice?

What if the Vikings Roll the Dice at Quarterback?

There’s a reality where 26-year-old Sam Darnold is not truly a finished product. He was put in awful situations with both the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers. It’s safe to assume that the Minnesota Vikings and Kevin O’Connell allow for a much better chance at success, but he’ll need to be given a relative amount of leash to make it work.

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If the Vikings utilize two first-round picks to move up substantially in the draft, that player will be pushing to start from day one. It’s fair to suggest the rookie sit behind a veteran for a while, but at no point would Darnold get to work without someone breathing over his shoulder.

In an alternate reality, one where the Vikings added twice the first-round talent they were originally capable of, they could drop down a tier for their signal caller. This upcoming draft is exceptionally deep at the quarterback position, and while there are different tiers, at least a couple should squeak into the second and third rounds.

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Right now, Minnesota doesn’t have picks in either of those spots. They could package one of their seven picks from the fourth round and beyond with hopes of jumping back in. Oregon’s Bo Nix should be off the board by the second round, and so too should Washington’s Michael Penix. Spencer Rattler could last a bit longer, and Michael Pratt will be there even longer. Jordan Travis is somewhat of a wild card, and he has plenty of warts, but there was a time before his injury that he would have gone much higher.

If they go this route, realistically, the Vikings have to be all in on Darnold for a year. Short of grabbing either Nix or Penix, the dropoff seems to be sizable. Rattler could work out, but that would be a testament to development. That won’t be the preferred option from the fan base, and it should mean another high draft pick next year. There is a chance that Darnold works, though, and any need for a quarterback is then quelled.

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Without investing heavily in a quarterback this year, the organization would need to make sure Justin Jefferson knows and is comfortable with the plan going forward. His endorsement of that decision would suggest a relative belief in what Darnold can be. It’s a gamble, but maybe it’s one worth making.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.