Rick Spielman has talked plenty in the days, weeks, months and what seems like years leading up to this year's NFL draft (still more than two weeks away! Somehow!).
The Vikings GM has said interesting things along the way. But we can't recall him being quite as honest -- or at least seemingly honest -- as he was in talking recently to SI.com's Peter King:
“The torture part of it,’’ said Spielman, “is you see a player sitting there when you pick who you know can help you right away, a significant player at another position, an impact player as a rookie. Then you ask yourself, ‘How do we feel about our options at quarterback in the second or third round? Is it close? Is there a big separation, or is it close?’ We’ve broken them down in all the ways we could think of. Analytically—measuring them against their five toughest opponents, indoor-versus-outdoor, by psychological testing, and it is such a mixed bag.
“That’s a big reason why we made it a high priority to sign Matt Cassel back. Every one of these quarterbacks … nothing is a sure thing. There’s no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning. It is such a mixed bag with each player—every one of them has positives, every one of them has negatives. And if that’s the way you end up feeling, why don’t you just wait ’til later in the draft, and take someone with the first pick you’re sure will help you right now?"
And what about the pressure of picking a QB out of that group?
“There’s always pressure,’’ he said. “This year, there’s more.’’
This, to us, reads like Spielman admitting this year's draft -- and specifically what the team does at QB -- will make-or-break his tenure. Miss on a first-round QB like the team did in 2011, and it hurts. Pass on a first-round QB who winds up being great and it hurts even more.
Maybe that's too strong, but it's the truth so it's refreshing if he is admitting it.