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Rich Gannon: Vikings would be “foolish” to take a QB at No. 8

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No single factor may be more important toward determining which teams win and lose in the NFL than having a franchise quarterback.

The Minnesota Vikings took Christian Ponder with the 12th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft in hopes that he would be their answer for them at that position. Three years later, the team is once again looking at possibly taking a quarterback in the draft.

However, former Vikings’ quarterback Rich Gannon cautions the team against potentially using their first pick, No. 8 overall, to draft a quarterback this year.

According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Gannon says it would be “foolish” for the team to draft a passer that early in this draft class.

Based of my knowledge of these players that are coming out and the Vikings’ situation, I think they’d be foolish to take a quarterback at No. 8,” Gannon said. “That’s just my personal opinion. They’d be foolish.”

Gannon was more open toward the teams selecting a quarterback in the second round or later in the first round. But to take a quarterback inside the Top 10 with the options that would be available doesn’t make sense to Gannon.

“I don’t really have a first-round grade on any of [the quarterbacks],” Gannon said.

Teams that have a franchise quarterback that can consistently produce at a high level tend to win more games more often while teams that have shaky quarterback play tend to struggle. While that isn’t exactly a surprising revelation by any means, it speaks to the importance of having a franchise quarterback in place. Teams that don’t have that guy are always going to be on the lookout to try to find him in free agency or the draft.

However, committing to the wrong guy may be the single most devastating blow a franchise can take. It requires a commitment in significant financial resources and also the time spent trying to develop a guy who doesn’t have the ceiling to be the player they initially envisioned.

The Vikings already experienced that conundrum before with Ponder, who hasn’t turned into the quarterback they hoped when they drafted him 2011. If they truly aren’t sold on one of the top quarterbacks on this draft being able to become the franchise quarterback option they need, they may be better off riding out next season with Ponder and Matt Cassel and seeing what options are available later in the draft or next offseason.

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49 Responses to “Rich Gannon: Vikings would be “foolish” to take a QB at No. 8”
  1. thepftpoet says: Apr 29, 2014 11:09 PM

    As a draft analyst myself, he’s completely wrong.

    If the Vikings took either Teddy Bridgewater or Johny Manziel at 8, it would be a solid pick.

    Both of these Quarterbacks will be franchise QB’s and will succeed in the league.

  2. barsfordays says: Apr 29, 2014 11:09 PM

    Oh yeah… they would be complete idiotic… Matt Cassel and Christian i cant Ponder the thought of him playing QB are much better options then Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater.

    Tell me, Rich, what kind of drugs are you on?

  3. monctonvike says: Apr 29, 2014 11:09 PM

    They should trade back or take the best player available.

    They could use a linebacker or safety depth at DB and a LG. I think they might be able to get Carr or Savage in the second round.

    I think Cassel could win games with a running game and some solid D.

  4. deflateddome says: Apr 29, 2014 11:11 PM

    For will be defense, or a trade down for more picks to draft more defense. The QB situation can be addressed in rounds 2-4

  5. thereyougo2 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:11 PM


  6. 92nick182govikings says: Apr 29, 2014 11:15 PM

    Only quarterback I would consider in the first half of the first round would be…you know who he is… johnny football. …that being said… it would be wise to take a defensive guy at 8. LB or CB. Best option could be to trade down for the vikes if they dont like anybody at 8 and accumulate picks. Hopefully johnny slides and the Vikings trade back up for him or something.

  7. terrellblowens says: Apr 29, 2014 11:17 PM

    He’s 100% correct. I know it ‘s a QB driven league but there isn’t much of a drop off between the #1 QB and the #5, and at least one of those guys will be available later on. Reaching for a QB is how guys like Gabbert, Weeden, Locker, and even Ponder get drafted so high.

  8. bornahawker says: Apr 29, 2014 11:19 PM

    Sounds like Rich knows the top 32 players in this draft do not include a QB. Wilson in the third, Brady in the sixth. Just take the best player on the board in the first round. It’s far from rocket science. Lets see if the vikes gm is worth his pay. Go Hawks!

  9. luz56 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:26 PM

    I agree with Gannon… I would love to see them go WR at 8… Cassel is a very serviceable QB.. Patterson, Rookie WR- Evans, AP, Rudolph… Come back in round 2 with QB… Mind you next years QBs are a better crop

  10. tjacks7 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:29 PM

    Seems like every former player thinks they’re a freaking draft guru. Give it a rest.

  11. prideof10000lakes says: Apr 29, 2014 11:31 PM

    Rick Spielman has drafted more pro bowlers than Ted Thompson.

  12. captainwisdom8888 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:32 PM

    I’m gonna side with Rich Gannon on this one…why you ask?

    Well, once upon a time I happened to be a busboy at a very fine restaurant (I was like the Kobe of busboys) and Rich Gannon of all people happens to come in on this night. I got a football tray in my hand (no puns here) and I hear a woman kinda gasp/scream and some dude is grabbing at his throat freaking out and clearly choking. I swear to god as soon as I laid eyes on the guy that was choking…Rich Gannon flys in from across the dining room and he’s giving the guy the heimlich while EVERYONE in the room is frozen and staring at the scene. He was the only one who went straight to action mode and he probably saved this guys life.

    Now whatever Gannon says is practically gospel for me…

  13. curr5548 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:37 PM

    Pick a quarterback? Pass on a quarterback? Pick Johnny Manziel? Trade down? Trade up? He’s the best. No he’s the best? Maybe we should go defense? No but they should probably pick a quarterback……. I’m going crazy

  14. Norseman says: Apr 29, 2014 11:37 PM

    Could also make the case they would be foolish not to, given a half dozen QBs will likely be taken ahead of them by the time their 2nd round pick rolls around.

    Blowing a 2nd round pick on a QB that doesn’t work out isn’t much better than blowing a 1st round pick. It’s also more likely, looking at future success of QBs not chosen in the 1st round.

  15. f1restarter says: Apr 29, 2014 11:43 PM

    The Vikings are a foolish organization. Their utter lack of championship titles in over 50 years of existence proves that.

    Heck, there are now five teams that have been around for fewer seasons than the Vikings, yet have more titles than the wretched purple Minnesota franchise.

  16. mazenblue says: Apr 30, 2014 12:18 AM

    well, what if all QBs were available?

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 30, 2014 12:20 AM

    Well he makes a good point, but it’s not as painful to make a mistake as it was during the draft that the Lions selected Stafford. He’s not even awful and he’s still the most overpaid QB in our team’s history. The mistakes are smaller now and teams are still weary. Just really puts in perspective how damaging it was for the Lions to select Stafford with that very costly pick.

  18. praetorian12 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:21 AM

    …which is why they’ll take Bridgewater at #8.

  19. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:23 AM

    The Vikings would never be that foolish – would they?

  20. wafflestomp says: Apr 30, 2014 12:34 AM

    The Vikings have ALWAYS been a foolish franchise.

    Love Boats.
    Hiring a Head Coach named Leslie?
    Inability to always get their 1st round pick to the podium on time.
    The Herschel Walker trade.
    Korey Stringer.
    Passing on Aaron Rodgers, not only once, but twice, in the 2005 draft.
    History of choking on the world’s biggest stage, over and over and over again.
    Over 50 years of uninterrupted malaise.

    Yeah, so I fully expect this pathetic franchise to select one of these clowns to lead them through the next few years into obscurity.
    Another swing and a miss.


  21. zn0rseman says: Apr 30, 2014 12:35 AM

    I think they gave up on Ponder way too quickly. Regardless, there isn’t any QB in this class I’m excited about. They would be smart to grab a guy like Mettenberger in the 3rd.

  22. doe22us says: Apr 30, 2014 12:38 AM

    And who made Rich Gannon a draft expert?? Stay in your lane, knowing the Vikings they will draft Christian Ponder’s clone.

  23. jermainewiggins says: Apr 30, 2014 1:03 AM

    im hoping they take the best d player available
    mosley, barr gilbert or dennard ( trade down a few spots if they can, maybe with the rams at 13) And then trade back Iinto the end of round 1 for bridgewater and let him sit for a year. Or take gilbert at 8, shazier at 40 if hes there, then pkg the 2 3rd round picks and a cpl more picks to move up and take an arron murray, mettenberger (who probably wont be available at 40) or garapallo. Skol vikes!!

  24. jimmysee says: Apr 30, 2014 1:03 AM

    Another country heard from!

  25. tokyosandblaster says: Apr 30, 2014 1:29 AM

    So…he’s saying they’ll take a quarterback.


  26. bighomiemathews24 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:43 AM

    Philip Rivers 2014-2015 Mvp

    Keenan Allen offensive player of the year


  27. vikinganswer says: Apr 30, 2014 2:50 AM

    AMEN Brother Gannon!!! Spot on with your assessment. No FRANCHISE QBs in the draft. Probably none next year either. Play great defense and pound the rock. OLD SCHOOL REAL MEN FOOTBALL the way it was meant to be played.

  28. theallegedone says: Apr 30, 2014 2:55 AM

    I agree completely. The Vikings did a lot in free agency on the defensive side of the ball. HOWEVER, I do think they need a speed rush linebacker to play with Chad Greenway. I would love to see them get Mack,Moseley or Barr, and then draft a QB in the second or third round. Even trade down and nab a few more picks and still possibly get Moseley or Barr. I’d go LB, QB, Safety and Running back with my first 4 picks.

  29. bostonfrogs says: Apr 30, 2014 4:06 AM

    “…they may be better off riding out next season with Ponder and Matt Cassel and seeing what options are available later in the draft or next offseason.”

    They would be better off riding out next season with Rich Gannon himself over Ponder or Cassel. Heck, if Gannon’s not available, even trying to talk Wade Wilson out of retirement would at worst be a lateral move compared to putting Ponder back under center.

  30. bobnelsonjr says: Apr 30, 2014 4:09 AM

    Gannon is right. The vikings have to move up to get a QB. They have to trade up to one of the top 3 spots and hope they can get Bridgewater.

    If the vikings wait until next year to use their top 5 pick on a QB and then take a couple of years to develop that QB, they are looking at 5 years to becoming relevant again.

    They have to be bold in the draft and get that QB or they will waste too many years trapped as a losing franchise.

  31. crawfish2011 says: Apr 30, 2014 5:10 AM

    Draft Zach Mettenber and you’ll win multiple championships

  32. tahnoonzee says: Apr 30, 2014 5:26 AM

    they were fools to take Ponder.

  33. brownsmakemecrazy says: Apr 30, 2014 6:05 AM

    Totally agree with Gannon. McCarron, Mettenberger and Murray will all be better NFL players than Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles. None of these QBs are worth a 1st round pick. Risk – Reward just isnt there with any of them.

  34. stellarperformance says: Apr 30, 2014 6:30 AM

    He’s right. Build the team first, then find a QB that is the best fit for what you have. It’s not like the Vikings are “this close” to contending. The are no magic Favre scenarios happening, so sit back and be patient.

  35. matt2calvin says: Apr 30, 2014 6:43 AM

    “That wasn’t time frame typically delays the opportunity to find the guy who can be the player a team is looking for.”


  36. guruvious says: Apr 30, 2014 7:27 AM

    Spielman isn’t going to put his job on the line making the same mistake twice, He’ll wait until the second round.

  37. concord148 says: Apr 30, 2014 7:41 AM

    Tim Tebow is available. I would definitely have him quarterback the Vikings.

  38. scoboscobs says: Apr 30, 2014 8:03 AM

    I love how, prior to pro days, everyone was saying this will be a fantastic year for teams needing a franchise quarterback. Now, after seeing some throws in shorts, there aren’t even any quarterbacks teams should be taking in the 1st round. Give me a break….

  39. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Apr 30, 2014 9:05 AM

    QB it is….

  40. jermainewiggins says: Apr 30, 2014 9:33 AM

    I cant believe wafflestomp would bring up korey stringer when saying our franchise is foolish. Now idc what ppl think of the vikes but seriously, korey stringer? have some class dude.

  41. chris1cat says: Apr 30, 2014 9:47 AM

    Ahhh, how refreshing! The Three Amigos or is that three brothers? firestarter, wafflestomp and filthymcnasty1. You three listen to your mother, “Pack” your bags and get the H E double hockey sticks out of her basement…….TODAY!

  42. thelionsrgreat says: Apr 30, 2014 10:02 AM

    It doesn’t matter what they do, they are still the Vikings.

  43. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:39 AM

    I also agree that they’re giving up on that noodle-armed Ponder chick way too soon. What’s another 10-12 years at this point?

  44. dakotakidz says: Apr 30, 2014 10:49 AM

    just becaue you were not worth a first round don’t they aren’t.

  45. jazz11001 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:53 AM

    If they have the talent to be selected in the first few rounds and they don’t pan out I think it says a lot more about the coaching staff then it does the player. I.E Matt Cassell , great in NE stinks everywhere else, Matt Flynn, great in GB stinks everywhere else, Alex Smith – irrelevant until Jim gets there. It is all about the coach. Ponder wins the starting job out of training camp mark my words.

  46. slick50ks says: Apr 30, 2014 11:31 AM

    Foolish would be going into a season with Matt Cassel as your starting QB.

    Vike fans will learn soon enough. Cassel had a lot better team behind him when he lost 14 games in a season.

    The dude is a bum.

  47. The Doctor says: Apr 30, 2014 12:01 PM

    Will be playing outdoors the next three years in the frigid Minnesota elements. Throwing the ball is not going to be that important. Build the defense and the offensive line.

  48. Remember Brian Brohm says: Apr 30, 2014 2:13 PM

    Almost every draft “expert” has the Vikings taking a quarterback in their mock drafts. No one who actually knows anything about football does, though. No way Spielman is going to reach for a quarterback again, especially when this draft is so deep with quarterbacks of about the same ability. You heard it here first: The Vikings will draft Darqueze Dennard, hopefully after moving back a few picks.

  49. gbmickey says: Apr 30, 2014 3:17 PM

    Spielman wont take a 1st round qb just to protect his job. Could you imagine another 1st round flop at qb? The guy clearly cant judge qb talent by looking back at Miami and now in Minnesota. I am just happy ownership sticks by him.

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