Yesterday, we took a look at the quarterback depth chart for the Minnesota Vikings, as well as discussed whether or not the purple need to draft a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft. Personally, I don’t see the Vikings taking a quarterback any earlier than Day 3 of this year’s draft if they were to grab someone to compete with Taylor Heinicke to be the Vikings’ third-string/developmental quarterback, and in keeping with that we’ve got some third day type of prospects that Rick Spielman might be interested in selecting for that purpose.
These players are listed in the order I would expect them to come off the board in, and I don’t know if any of these quarterbacks are going before the fourth round, which is why I’ve got them here.
Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL) - Kaaya was a three-year starter at “The U,” and played in more of a pro-style offense in his final year under Mark Richt. He’s got a pretty good arm, and his accuracy is okay. . .as long as he’s able to stay in the pocket. He also has a tendency to hold the ball too long and hit the panic button too early. He has the tools to be a starter at the NFL level, but would definitely require at least a year of tutoring before he was able to even consider fighting for a starting job.
Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh - Peterman started his career at Tennessee, but transferred after losing his starting job to a guy we’ll see later on this list. He went to Pitt, and was 8th in the nation in passing efficiency in all of college football. He’s not the biggest guy, but he has enough mobility and arm strength to get by. He needs to work on ball placement, but with enough polishing he could at least develop into a solid backup, if not more.
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee - Dobbs is the quarterback that took Peterman’s job with the Volunteers and never gave it back. He’s known as more of a dual-threat quarterback, but made significant strides in the passing game this past season. Mechanically, he has some issues, and he bails out of the pocket a bit earlier than he should at times. But he can make all the throws, and definitely has significant upside. If I were Rick Spielman and wanted a quarterback on Day 3, this is probably the guy I’d focus on, and you could probably get him in Round 5 or so.
Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech - Evans is another dual-threat quarterback, and he may have the best arm of any of the quarterbacks I’m going to list here. Because of his mobility, he has a tendency to vacate the pocket early, but has enough arm strength to get plenty on his passes when he’s on the move. Teams are probably going to be intrigued by Evans’ size (6’3”, 240), but coming from a Virginia Tech offense that only asked him to make one read a lot of the time, he’s going to need serious development time. That said, if he gets the right coaching, someone’s going to get themselves a very good quarterback.
Brady Gustafson, Montana - This one qualifies as a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sleeper. Gustafson is huge, measuring in at 6’7” and 235 pounds, and played at a smaller school. He was afforded plenty of freedom in the pre-snap phase with the Grizzlies, and their offense asked him to make a lot of shorter throws. . .which, given the way the Vikings’ offensive line has performed recently, is not as detrimental as it could be. He might need more time to adjust to the speed of things after facing the level of competition he has in college, but could develop into a solid pro with time. The Vikings might be able to get Gustafson as a priority free agent after the draft, or they could use a seventh rounder on him if they were so inclined.
Obviously, there are going to be other quarterbacks available in the late rounds for the Vikings to consider. These are just the guys that I think should be on their list when the draft calendar rolls over to Saturday.