With mock drafts becoming more and more all over the map, it may be more accurate to throw darts at a board and get closer to how everything will eventually play out. The Vikings are in an eerily similar position they were in when they drafted Christian Ponder in a draft were QB prospects' stock were inflated with as many QB hungry teams as there are this year, and some of the very same teams as well. But the Vikings' roster and coaching staff is in a lot better situation than back in 2011, especially with having Matt Cassel in place as the veteran whether you are a fan of him, or not. But looking at all of the mock drafts out there, as different as all of them are, there is a common denominator as far as the most talented prospects outside of the QB position all remaining very high on most mock boards. The Clowneys, Macks, Watkins and so on are the sure bets to teams, compared to virtually every QB prospect this year. Many mocks seems to have most QB needy teams drafting a QB instead of taking one of the elite impact players that are a little more abundant this year. But teams like the Texans, the Raiders, the Jags and of course our beloved Vikings have all been burned taking the wrong QB early not that long ago. And that's why I think it is more likely most of the top rated QBs in this draft will not be drafted as early as most believe. By the time the 8th pick comes around with Minnesota on the clock; I think the Vikings QB they want will likely be there, wouldn't be surprised at all if only one QB is selected in the first 7 picks this year.
The Browns safe bet is to find their QB no earlier than their second 1st round pick. With all the veteran players, including Schaub; the Raiders want an impact player and preferably a WR. Atlanta and St. Louis both are not going to draft QBs either. Lovie Smith just brought in a veteran QB he trusts from his former team to Tampa where starter Glennon still has the support of many. I don't see Tampa drafting another QB until next year at the earliest if Glennon indeed falters. That brings us to the Texans and Jacksonville, who are picking 1st and 3rd respectively, and selecting that high in the draft with so many question marks following this year's qb class, and so many other highly touted prospects of other positions available; I think only one of them drafts a QB that high in this draft especially with Clowney, Watkins and others being there for the taking.
So, that takes us to the Vikings first selection at number 8, where most think they will be left digging through the scraps like they did in 2011. I don't think that's how it pans out though; I think the Texans or the Jags take Bortles, and the Vikings have their pick of the rest of the QB class, as well as the remaining impact players. If that actually happens, most think of it as a no brainer, and select either Bridgewater or Manziel. But I don't think Spielman makes it that easy, and looks to shake down Detroit in similar fashion he did to the Browns and their desire to draft Trent Richardson, as I think the Lions number one guy is CB Justin Gilbert. I think he baits them with the threat of possible trade opportunities with other teams, and leads them and other teams to believe he has no interest in selecting a QB at this point in the draft. I think he gets them to bite too for at least a 3rd rounder, while Minnesota moves back one to the 9th spot only to roll the dice on Johnny Manziel. After that Spielman sits back and relaxes while targeting the best players available, whom many are bound to slip through the cracks a little with the abundance of talent, throughout the remainder of the draft. In the end, the 2014 draft could very well go on to top both the previous drafts by Minnesota.
Norv gets a dynamic QB prospect, and likely a prospect to replace Charlie Johnson. With Cassel in place as the veteran; I think Norv is happy with the hand he has to play and results are likely seen immediately in the 2014 season. While Zimmer enjoys the majority of the rest of the draft picks to go toward building a respectable defense. With new players, and the new coaching staff this year, there is likely to be some ups and downs, but this new Vikings' team is going to be better, and have a better record that could easily see themselves finish the 2014 season with at least a .500 record, if not better.
But whether the draft turns out similar to this or not; whoever Minnesota selects for their QB-they could easily be drafting a QB for the next three years. After 2014 Ponder's contract will be up, and Minnesota is not going to resign him, and will need another QB going into next year's draft. And after the 2015 season Matt Cassel's contract will be up, and will need another QB going into that draft. This year looks to be the highest they take a QB over the next couple years, but the need to fill a QB position as contracts expire actually force the Vikings to find a true franchise QB so that even if this year's selection doesn't work out the Vikings could be drafting a QB three years in a row. Let's hope just hope we can finally get it right this year rather then next year.. or the next.