In my first ever blog post on the Daily Norseman I will be rolling out my speculation on the upcoming offseason in a daily positional breakdown. I will take the buzzed about moves, break them down based on what I see and my personal OPINION, and also maybe throw out my own crazy idea if I have one. So with out further Madeau...(OK BAD JOKE)...The first position addressed will be immediately after the jump.
The First Position has been our Glaring weakness since the days of Sir Francis; The Quarterback Position.
Current QBs) We have Joe Webb, a guy who has an aura about him that stays fairly unnerved throughout a game, however he's young and his decision making isn't great. Possesses physical abilities that could make him an asset under Center or at the Wideout spot. For this assessment he will be included in the QB position however, and I like his potential there. He's got a solid base skill set, but his mind needs to be molded into that of an NFL QB.
Possible FA's/Trades-Vince Young: A lot of people love this decision. I for one, side with KFAN's very own Paul Allen on the subject and that is the fact that Vince Young is a basket case. He brings so much emotional baggage that I don't see him fitting in our locker room. The first time a guy like Hutch or Jarred Allen says Shut up and play I see him pouting in the corner and contemplating suicide/retirement again, or just quitting on the team all together. He's a gifted athlete but has been average to above in streaks and only once for a full season, not to mention has been hurt several times for significant lengths of time. The thing that would make this deal good is the fact that he could be had for relatively cheap either with a built in contract (Which could potentially be renegotiated) or as a free agent signing. Titans Owner Bud Adams has ruined all possible leverage he may have had by stating he'll either trade or cut Young.
Kyle Orton-My personal favorite, although less so since we lost out on the Josh McDaniels sweepstakes. In two years with McDaniels Orton became an efficient passer with great accuracy and a solid zip to the ball. He elevated a consummate underachiever like Brandon Lloyd into a leading receiver this year, and could likely bring Lloyd with him, as I believe he was only signed to a one year deal in Denver. Imagine Orton throwing to Lloyd who he's already comfortable with, Rice who is an upgrade over Eddie Royal in every aspect except special teams, and Harvin. Denver, and newly appointed GM, (And my all-time favorite player being a Bronco's fan second) John Elway, have given their seal of approval to Tim Tebow, leaving Orton as a backup yet again (Highly paid), or on the trade table. Denver probably wouldn't be able to get a ton due to the size of Orton's contract and the fact that they've already kind of showed their cards with the Tebow talk, but would be a mighty fine addition in my personal belief.
Donovan McNabb-This is by far my least favorite of the three. Young gives you several years of potential solid QBing, Orton is a good 2-3 year stopgap, and McNabb is just another Favre with less likelihood of a great season. He played awful in Washington, and can see him only doing marginally better in MN. The Positive light on this would be that McNabb is the perfect guy to train Webb for two years, however; I just don't see us sniffing the Super Bowl or NFCC with McNabb at the helm, and we are built to win this year or next year, not in 3 or 4 years. McNabb would be a setback unless we commit to a partial rebuild.
Draft (Serious picks only...that excludes Blaine Gabbart as I doubt he falls to 12)
Cam Newton-More Expensive Daunte Culpepper. The guy has a big arm and can move but as soon as those knees start to waiver he's slowing down and then is just a big arm. He won't have a Randy Moss to throw to, nor a Carter, so he'll have to be more accurate than Daunte was, and I just can't see it. I don't think he's a good fit in our system.
Ryan Mallett-Good QB with a relatively high Football IQ, and the guy has the skills to be a good passer, but his leadership skills scare me. He has been known to snap at receivers and OL before, and I don't see him demanding respect in a huddle. That's something Joe Webb has done well in two games is at least gaining attention and respect from the guys he's in the huddle with. That being said, I think mallet could be a solid pick at 12 if he falls there and would just need to be humbled for a year or so to get it into his head that his antics won't fly.
Jake Locker-I'd rather Newton over Locker at this point, which is huge since I craved Locker to come out last year and secretly fall to the Vikings or push one of the other QBs down the draft board. After watching a year full of inaccurate passing and mediocre decision making, I find Locker to be a guy that is a big project and we already have one in Webb if he remains a QB.
There are several late round guys that have been thrown around that seem good from what I've read but don't have enough tape/insight into their skills enough to where I'd feel comfortable formulating speculation. There is one guy that I think could be a late player in the draft or possibly undrafted depending on how things shake out. He showed improvement in every year that he played, and was a strong leader. He has some decision making issues and some slight accuracy issues, but has a strong enough arm and has shown a pension to learn the game. And before anyone decides to castrate me for stating this, I'd like to add that he would also be a back end project that would likely be #3 and we'd still have to get a Veteran QB...
Matthew Stanzi QB Iowa-Stanzi has the build and skill set to be a solid signal caller, however he lacks confidence in his arm/receivers at times and tends to try to put too much accuracy on the ball to where it doesn't go where he wants or is over thrown or picked off. He has some tells when he's throwing, and he definitely needs to think less and work off of instincts, but the guy has gotten better each year, and only see more improvement under the right tutelage. Musgrave worked with Schaub when he was in college, and then worked with Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Schaub was a backup who showed flashes of solid QB play in Atlanta before moving to Houston and at least stabilizing their QB position with above average and at times top 10 QB play. Ryan has developed in his first three years into a QB that Atlanta can believe in. In each of the three years he's had over 2500 yards passing and only missing 3000 in 09 by 84 yards. His TD/INT ratio has dropped in each of those years as well. Giving Mussgrave the keys to molding a Kirk Ferenz guy is a solid option, especially if our #12 is used on a CB like Prince if available or Hakeem Ayers if he's available.