The Minnesota Vikings need a quarterback pretty badly. Matt Cassel is a solid backup and decent bridge starter, but everyone knows he’s not a long-term answer. Needless to say, speculation has been ongoing that the Vikes will look for their new franchise passer at some point in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Per Tony Pauline of the Draft Insider, the when and where could be the second round of May’s draft. According to Pauline’s “insider” sources, Minnesota is very interested in upgrading at linebacker with their number eight overall selection on May 8th, and would then like one of their coveted passers (namely Zach Mettenberger) to slide to them early in round two. With the likes of Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr getting more buzz and more likely to go in round one, there is a remote change Minnesota could get it’s wish.
While it might unfold perfectly just how Minnesota supposedly wants it to, there’s also another distinct possibility: that waiting could mean they get no one they love under center.
Rumors have been abound all off-season that the Cleveland Browns could take a passer with their second of two first round draft picks, and Carr and Mettenberger have been two of the hottest names being passed around the league. Should Minnesota in fact play the waiting game on Mettenberger, they could risk not landing any of the top-five rated quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
With Cassel in place and Christian Ponder still on the roster, however, that appears to be a risk the Vikings may be willing to take. However, a lot of what they do with their first pick may depend on whether or not the versatile Khalil Mack (who they are said to be enamored with) is even available. With the Vikes picking eight and Mack being rumored to even have #1 overall pick talent, there’s a very real chance he doesn’t even drop out of the top-five.
If Mack is suddenly gone, Minnesota would have to decide if alternatives like Anthony Barr or even inside linebacker C.J. Mosley will suffice. If not, they could end up turning their sight backs to the quarterback position. If that ends up being the case, perhaps Mettenberge wouldn’t be in the equation at all.
For now, landing both Mack and Mettenberger is something the Vikings can seriously dream about. Then again, it’s still early April and teams in the top-10 are blowing smokescreens like crazy, whether intentional or not.