So far we haven’t talked too much about the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL draft, because there’s nothing worse than looking at mock draft in March. And then they went and moved the draft to May, and this whole nonsense-conversation became even WORSE. But just because draft talk 37 months before the actual draft happens is ridiculous, it doesn’t mean it isn’t actually happening.
Specifically, over the last few months with the NFL Combine, college athlete pro days, and much more, we’re starting to gain a little bit of insight (if you read the tea leaves) into what, exactly, new coach Mike Zimmer will likely try to do in the draft. We’ve seen him hit defense hard in free agency, shoring up the defensive line and sign help throughout the other locations on defense. The biggest glaring need? Probably still at linebacker. And everyone else seems to know this too, as most people expect the Vikings to draft a linebacker (say Khalil Mack?) with their first round pick.
But then there’s always that tiny issue of, you know, the quarterback sucking. Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Johnny No-Name … The Vikings need a legitimate franchise quarterback to guide the team to the playoffs. Will they find that guy in the draft? Will they actually bite the bullet on Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, or anyone else?
At this point, conventional wisdom points to the Vikings drafting a quarterback high, for Norv “The Quarterback Whisper” Turner to groom, but not so high that he’s going to have bust potential written all over him. I’d say all first round QBs are out of the picture, and most people are starting to think either Alabama QB AJ McCarron or LSU QB Zach Mettenberg could be the answer for the team in the second round.
The Vikings hold the 40th pick overall, number eight in round two, and it could be the perfect spot for them to take a QB that isn’t necessarily flashy, but gets the job done. Essentially, they’re picking from the Missionary Position of quarterbacks. And that’s probably fine. The offense isn’t really the problem of this team. Remember, last year, even with Ponder at the helm, the team averaged like 25 points or more per game. The problem was we couldn’t stop anyone from scoring, particularly in the final two minutes. So do you waste a high draft pick where you should be getting an impact player, on an offensive guy that isn’t a sure fire bet (I don’t think any of the top QBs are Andrew Luck type guarantees), or get a game-changing linebacker? I’d go defense, for sure, roll with Noodle Arm Shirtless-Ponder or McBeardy-Cassel for another year and see what happens. There’ll be more “can’t miss franchise quarterbacks” that come out next year, and the year after and …
Either way, let’s say Mettenberger is on the Vikings radar. We could do worse. He allegedly has a pretty big arm (at least bigger than Ponder’s, but that’s not saying much …), and is more of a traditional pocket passer that Norv apparently likes, rather than the crazy Favre-ianess of Manziel and Bridgewater. So that’d be boring, at least until they start winning!
So, what do you think? Would you want Mettenberger on your team?