First of all I'd like to say hello to all my fellow Viking fans on the Daily Norseman. I've been a reader for awhile now and I figured it was time to officially become part of the club. I don't know if I'll be an extremely active poster/commenter, but hopefully everyone will enjoy another perspective thrown into the mix. I'm proud to be a Viking fan, no matter how many times they break my heart (it's become a badge of honor of sorts), and proud to be a part of the best fan base in the NFL! Skol Vikings! Now on to the post.
Drafting any quarterback is a tough job. But drafting a QB expected to be the face of your franchise for at least the next 10 years while leading your team to division titles, the playoffs, and potentially the Super Bowl, YIKES! Good luck with that. There are so many examples of success (see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Big Ben, and others). There are also so many examples of monumental failure (Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russel, and others). Then there are some cases where the jury is still out on whether these guys could be franchise QBs (Alex Smith, Vince Young, Matthew Stafford). Unfortunately, the Vikings have fell more in the line of "TBD" to "What exactly were we thinking when we drafted this guy" when it comes to quarterbacks. But from the sounds of it, the new coaching staff has taken the right approach to finding the new man and we have some coaches on staff with success in finding/developing QBs. But now it's time to take these positive factors and turn them into a good result.
So who should be the next QB of our Vikings? The best athlete? The guy with the strongest arm? The most accurate guy in college? How about the man with the best winning % in college of the group? While all of these are important, I think the most important part of evaluating a QB is the one part the fans don't get to see... the interviews. Fact is that most of these QBs have excellent physical talent, some more than others obviously, but not one of these guys would be going through the draft process if they were total stiffs. In the interviews, coaches can see what makes these guys tick, how they react to pressure situations, if they really love playing football, what leadership qualties they bring to the table, and do they have "it," whatever "it" is. The best example I can think of is a very recent one. Matt Ryan was drafted 3rd overall by the Falcons and has turned out to be a great success. And what did everyone say about Matt Ryan? His arm strength was decent coming out of college, but not awesome. His accuracy in college was great, but NFL accuracy is a whole new level and is tough to project. He was a decent athlete, but would never be confused with Mike Vick. He had a good career in college, but never won the ACC or played in a BCS bowl game. But he had those intangibles, or "it" if you want to call intangibles by that. There was just something about the guy that made you think he was going to be a QB in this league. He's a smart kid that doesn't get rattled in the face of adversity and his teammates have a belief with him at the helm they can go down the field and score to open a game strong, to respond to an opposition's score, to seal the game, or to start a comeback and any situation in between. To me, that's what I want from a quarterback. The only way anyone can find this out is by sitting down, mono y mono, with the prospect and see what you come away with. I'm confident we have the personnel that can identify the right guy and make him a Viking. So let's trust the staff to make the decision and see what happens.
If you're looking for a name from this current group that I think the Vikes should take, I'm sorry to disappoint you but I don't have one. I may have one later, but now it's WAY too early to think about that. If you want to know what round I think we should take a QB in, again, sorry to disappoint, but, to be honest, I really don't care. As long as they think he's the right guy, he can be the last guy drafted, just get your man if he's around. There may not even be a guy from this group, and, if so, that's fine. If we have to wait one more year, fine. We're Vikings fans, our first words are "wait til next year." I'd rather that than another giant mistake (cough cough, t-joke, cough cough). Good luck with all the pre-draft hype and specualtion fellow Viking fans, it's gonna be a long wait until Draft day. I included a poll below to see what you guys think is the most important factor in drafting a QB so feel free to share!