A Look at the Vikings Exhaustive Quarterback Search

Andy Lyons

The Vikings have been connected to no less than thirteen quarterback prospects in this year's draft. But, which one will be drafted?

It's common knowledge that the Vikings are looking to add one or more quarterbacks to the roster via the upcoming NFL Draft.  But the question that is burning us alive (for another 2 and a half weeks!!) is which quarterback(s) will the Vikings draft?  We've already deciphered Rick Spielman's predraft Rickspeak, and it would appear that finding the right quarterback has been a tortuous process for our general manager (and rightly so after botching the Christian Ponder selection).  But that got me thinking about which draft prospects the Vikings are considering.  Thanks to the good folks over at Walterfootball, we have a nice and neat list of the prospects connected to the Vikings as they've tracked which prospects the team has visited with or have shown interest in.  Using that list as a starting point (and adding my own research), I have arrived at a list of quarterbacks that is very long (a circle of thirteen!) being connected to the team.  I've tried to come up with a link to either a news story or twitter post that confirms each type of connection.  The list includes:

2014 Quarterback Prospects Connected to the Vikings

Name

School

Type of Connection

Blake Bortles

Central Florida

Pro Day Meeting and Combine Meeting

Tajh Boyd

Clemson

Senior Bowl Meeting and Generic Interest

Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville

Extended Private Visit,  Pro Day Visit and Combine Meeting

Derek Carr

Fresno State

Senior Bowl Meeting and Pro Day Visit

David Fales

San Jose State

Private Visit

Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois

Private Visit

Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M

Pro Day Meeting and Combine Meeting

AJ McCarron

Alabama

Pro Day Visit

Zach Mettenberger

LSU

Pro Day Meeting and Combine Meeting

Aaron Murray

Georgia

Pro Day Visit

Connor Shaw

South Carolina

Combine Meeting and Pro Day Visit

Logan Thomas

Virginia Tech

Senior Bowl Meeting and Combine Meeting

Keith Wenning

Ball State

Private Visit


It's easy to read too much into these kinds of reports, but the Vikings have shown the most interest in Teddy Bridgewater, meeting with him repeatedly throughout the entire pre-draft process.  They've met with him privately at the combine, at his Pro Day as well as hosting him privately at Winter Park for an extended look.  This is either the most egregious smoke-screen ever, or they are genuinely interested in Teddy Bridgewater.  The Vikings have had multiple private meetings with four other quarterbacks as well: Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger and Logan Thomas.  It's interesting that Bortles, Mettenberger and Thomas all share some common traits: big, tall, strong armed QBs that could fit the Norv Turner mold of a strong-armed, pocket passer.  While Manziel doesn't fit that same mold the Vikings have met with him on more than one occasion, but it remains to be seen what their level of interest really is due to Zimmer's side-show comments.  There are two other names that the Vikings have had multiple connections with too: Derek Carr and Connor Shaw, meeting with them privately at the Senior Bowl and Combine (respectively) and attending both quarterback's Pro Days.  The remaining 6 quarterbacks have had only 1 connection to the team.

All that said, the Vikings have certainly done their due diligence in scouting this quarterback class and I haven't seen this many quarterbacks connected to the Vikings in a single draft in a long time.  For example, the Vikings were only connected to one quarterback last year (Collin Klein out of Kansas State, who wasn't drafted by any team and didn't make the NFL), and I don't remember very many if any the year before that.  It's also possible that the Vikings have had scouts at the Pro Days of other quarterbacks that we just haven't heard about.  Never-the-less, if the Vikings miss on a quarterback in the draft yet again, it will probably cost Rick Spielman his job...and you know what?  After a search as exhaustive as this one, it probably should.

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