There has been a lot of interesting ideas floating around about the future of the Vikings franchise. One I thought was interesting is the idea that GM Rick Spielman is trying to prep fans for in case they decide to not go the QB route this draft or at least prepping fans for if they don't go QB in the first couple of rounds. Yeah, I know not exactly shocking news, we've all decided and explored those possible outcomes but I found interesting the idea that they are prepping us for that kind of outcome. Spielman has been weirdly more upfront and giving lengthier replies to direct questions about what the Vikings will do, he keeps bringing up how difficult it is to find a star QB, and how Christian Ponder had a lot of ability but hasn't been able to get it together. And to top it off, the Vikings website posted a poll question-that was totally biased. I found that very odd, posting on their official website a question that went something along the lines of "What would you rather the Vikings do with the #8 pick? Reach for a QB. Draft a defensive player."
Then if that were actually all true (of course this is all complete speculation and just honestly drifting thoughts), they intended to wait what QB would they really be waiting for? Winston isn't coming out next year. Hundley showed a lot of promise but certainly not enough to warrant skipping certain options this year. Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel all showed more ability in my opinion. Petty is very good but it's hard to imagine he made Spielman get all googly eyed and decide he'd wait for him. That leaves Mariota, a guy who GM's and scouts alike were supposedly drooling over. While there is no promise he'd come out next year (not out of the closet but out of the college ranks) there is a lot to back up the theory he'd be the #1 pick next year if he plays at least as well as he did this season. It's very possible after the draft most teams will have their QB positions "solved" and with soooo many young QB's in the league there would be less teams looking to draft new QB's thus making avoiding a big bidding war on trading up to #1. So if Spielman did in fact fall in love with Mariota, and Turner gave him the nudge and thumbs up it could be they view him as a prospect worth trading for and the QB's in this draft "unworthy".
So then what would happen this draft? Well, like Turner discussed putting a QB in a situation to succeed they could sign Cassel and prop him up. Honestly, except for when he was with the Patriots he never has been in that great of a situation. Even last year, his starts were separated and filled with backup snaps in practices. Patterson was struggling to even learn how to run a route half the season. Peterson was getting little run block support half the season. Simpson was inconsistent. Rudolph was injured a good amount of the year. The games that he struggled in were against top 5 defenses.
So imagine a draft where they get him a #1 WR to replace Simpson. A top guard whether through the draft or FA. A real coordinator. And a type of offensive scheme that will get defenses off of being a 100% focused on Peterson (A West Coast offense is actually meant to bring safeties in closer to the line of scrimmage). It's possible he could do better than just play average, we could see another side to Cassel.
And since no one wants to have read all that rambling without any reward, heres a mock just for the heck of it. A totally QB-less mock:
1. Marqise Lee, WR
2. Calvin Pryor, SS
3. DaQuan Jones, NT
3. Jordan Zumwalt, ILB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w611j4vXtpk
4. Brandon Linder, LG
5. Aaron Colvin, CB
6. Andrew Jackson, LB
7. Ben Gardner, DE
Outside FA: Michael Johnson, DE & Corey Graham, CB
Drafts Commonality: Physicality, Aggressive mind sets