There has been plenty of time and focus spent on the potential of a quarterback such as Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett, Colin Kaepernick or Ricky Stanzi ending up being drafted by the Vikings this week.
But one name that has gone under the radar is that of Idaho's Nathan Enderle.
Projected as a fifth- to sixth-round pick by Pro Football Weekly, Enderle is a guy in whom the Vikings have expressed interest. The team put him through a private workout in March.
Considering there are plenty of analysts who don't feel that Locker, Ponder, Dalton Mallett, Kaepernick or Stanzi will be able to step in right away and play in the NFL, there is no question that Enderle would need some time to learn on the sideline. The Vikings don't talk publicly about their interest in prospects, but it's likely if the 6-4, 240-pound Enderle has supporters in Winter Park it's probably vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman and the scouting staff.
Coach Leslie Frazier has said in an ideal world the Vikings would get a quarterback in this draft who can serve as the long-term answer, and one has to think Frazier would like to see that player come from a group of potential early-round picks.
Speaking at the NFL owners meetings last month in New Orleans, Frazier said: "If you’re going to get a franchise-type guy that you can build around, he usually comes earlier than later -- the first or second round. It’s an aberration to get a Tom Brady in the sixth round. That doesn’t come around very often. So, it’s usually a first- or second-round guy that you build around. But that’s not to say there isn’t a guy in the third or fourth -- but that’s not usually the case."
That doesn't mean the Vikings might not have a plan to try to get Enderle if they don't get one of the quarterbacks projected to be taken in the first or second round. (Note: I realize if this were to happen many Vikings fans might be extremely upset but this scenario has to be considered.)
Enderle started all 13 games for Idaho last season and threw for 3,314 yards (271 of 478) with 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He had redshirted in 2006 but was a four-year starter and finished with a 17-29 record.
Here's the Pro Football Weekly summary on Enderle and it's not all that pretty: "A well-built, pocket-pocket passing, four-year starter who still makes too many freshman mistakes. Looks the part on paper, but enters the NFL as very much a project with a long way to go. Has the size and arm strength to fit best into a vertical passing game, but heavy feet, inconsistent accuracy and raw decision making might keep him holding a clipboard for the next 10 years. Most comfortable when he is not on the hot seat."