Last month, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman called the process of sifting through the quarterbacks in this year’s draft “torturous” because each of the top prospects are “a mixed bag” of strengths and weaknesses.
For a G.M. who missed on Christian Ponder in the first round just a few years ago, the prospect of making the wrong quarterback call with the eighth pick could grease the skids on his way out the door in Minnesota. That may lead Spielman and the Vikings to decide that no quarterback in the first round is better than having no quarterback at all.
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column for TheMMQB.com, Peter King reports that the Vikings “are more inclined than ever” to hold off on selecting a quarterback until the second round. When the eighth pick does roll around, the intention is to select “a front-seven disruptor” like Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald ahead of adding to any other position.
The Vikings signed Linval Joseph this offseason and picked Shariff Floyd in the first round last year, so the cupboard is far from bare at defensive tackle in Minnesota. That doesn’t mean they won’t look in the direction of Donald or another front-seven player, but they may also be signaling to teams looking to move up to No. 8 that there’s a willingness to move down because grabbing a quarterback right there isn’t a priority.
Or they could be trying to keep teams from vaulting in front of them to grab the quarterback that they want in the first round. True intentions will remain shrouded all week, but any pick that Spielman makes will need to come through if he’s going to be making the pick again next year.