Technically, the Vikings already have selected a quarterback in the 2017 draft. They did it by sending their first-round pick (and more) to Philadelphia last year for Sam Bradford, whose contract expires after the coming season.
With the news that 2014 first-round selection Teddy Bridgewater likely won’t have his fifth-year option exercised, the Vikings will now be in play to use another 2017 pick on another quarterback.
The Vikings currently have eight selections in the 2017 draft, including three in the top 90. Their first selection comes at No. 48 in round two.
In 2014, the Vikings vaulted back into the bottom of round one to get Bridgewater. Six years ago, they used the 12th overall pick on Christian Ponder.
The fact that the Bridgewater decision, which doesn’t have to be made until May 3, already has been leaked (with the qualifier of “likely”) invites speculation as to whether the Vikings are trying to create the impression that they may go for a quarterback in one of the early rounds, in order to maximize the overall unpredictability and confusion regarding their plans.
Ultimately, that’s the smartest move for any team — conceal your actual plans for as long as possible, and embrace anything that will naturally make those plans seem even less certain. This Bridgewater news adds a position to the various ones the Vikings could target, and it definitely makes the drafting of a quarterback more likely if a quarterback is deemed to be their best player available when they pick at No. 48.