Sid Hartman: Don't count on Vikings selecting a quarterback eighth overall

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 21, 2014 - 7:11 AM

Rick Spielman believes they will pick the best player on the board, and it’s unlikely that will be a quarterback.

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Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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While there is much speculation that the Vikings will select a quarterback with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft, General Manager Rick Spielman made it clear that he won’t draft a QB with the pick because he said they will take the best player on the board with their first selection, and there is no reason to believe that a quarterback will be the best player on the board.

Spielman was asked about the decision between drafting a quarterback or going another way and selecting perhaps a defensive player.

“That’s one of the reasons we signed Matt Cassel and signed him back right at the beginning of free agency and were able to get that done, because that does not box you into taking a quarterback at No. 8,” Spielman said. “We can really follow our board and take the best player available. I think it is a deep class in this quarterback class. There’s going to be some value I think through other rounds, too, if you don’t take one in the first.

“But in doing what we were able to do in the unrestricted free-agent market — trying to fill needs in that area by signing Cassel and getting some of the defensive linemen under contract that we were able to sign, and signing Captain Munnerlyn will help our secondary — that gives you the flexibility to take best available player when we get into the draft next month.”

Spielman said the team is getting ready to begin the process of finalizing its draft board.

“As we go through that, we start our draft meetings on Monday and we’ll go eight straight days with our coaches and finalize our plan before the draft,” he said. “There are some very good defensive players, some very good receivers in this draft, some good offensive linemen. … There’s some significant linebackers that can play not only standing up but also help you rush the passer as well. I think we’re going to have a lot of options at 8, but we’re also going to potentially look to move out of that pick as well.”

Can find QB later

Spielman is confident he will be able to draft a good quarterback in the second round and maybe even in the third. It was in the third round two years ago where Seattle landed superstar Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin.

“It’s a very tortuous process this year trying to figure out these quarterbacks because there’s a lot of different flavors of quarterbacks,” Spielman said. “There’s mobile quarterbacks, there’s pocket passers, so you really have to home in and decide what type of quarterback you want, what kind of quarterback and what traits fit the kind of system you’re about to run.

“You look at the traits of the quarterbacks in here and work in our offensive scheme and adjust to some of the traits that that player possesses. It’s going to be a very interesting process as we go through our own evaluation of these quarterbacks and try to home in on the particular type of quarterback that may be best for us.”

Spielman also said the Vikings will benefit from having an extra third-round pick this year because of the depth of this draft class. The Vikings have the No. 96 overall pick from Seattle as part of the Percy Harvin trade. Other than that pick, the Vikings are set to select eighth in each round.

There have been reports that the Vikings, while having Christian Ponder under contract for this season, would have to pay the 2011 first-round draft pick around $10 million if they exercise a fifth-year option in 2015. Spielman said that wasn’t exactly accurate.

“This is this class that was the first year of the [collective bargaining agreement] where you can exercise the option, and if you’re in the top 10 that’s X-amount [of dollars], if you’re outside the top 10 that’s X-amount [of dollars],” Spielman said. “He’s not in the top 10 because he wasn’t a top-10 pick. But we have, I believe, until the first week in May to decide whether we exercise that option or not.”

If they get rid of Ponder, I will be very surprised, but I have been wrong before.

Jottings

• Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-4 Sunday in the Twins’ 8-3 victory at Kansas City with two doubles, a triple, two runs scored and two RBI to continue his stellar play early on. The third baseman is hitting .313 with 13 RBI and 14 runs scored. Last year through 18 games he was hitting .226 with four RBI and eight runs.

• While Rick Adelman won’t coach the Timberwolves next season, look for him to retain a position as a consultant. … If Flip Saunders decides not to coach, one of the candidates to succeed Adelman would be assistant coach Terry Porter, who has NBA head coaching experience with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns.

• According to Gophers wrestling coach J Robinson, two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson, who just finished his senior season, could in the future potentially play for the Gophers football team (he was a standout linebacker and defensive lineman at Cambridge-Isanti); join the WWE pro wrestling circuit; or take advantage of his mechanical engineering degree and go into private business. … The Gophers have a good chance of hosting the National Duals wrestling tournament for the second time in three years. The event will be held Feb. 21-22. The Gophers have won the past three National Duals, including 2012 at Williams Arena.

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New England 0 2nd Qtr 11:59
Seattle 0
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
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Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
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Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59

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