Vikings drop back, look over their options at quarterback

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2011 - 1:14 PM

The combine will give them an up-close look at several prospects, including three talented juniors.

INDIANAPOLIS - The Vikings have taken part in 50 drafts since entering the NFL in 1961, but only twice have they selected a quarterback in the first round. Tommy Kramer was taken 27th overall in 1977 and Daunte Culpepper 11th in 1999.

A third name could be added in April.

Brett Favre has announced he will retire and Tarvaris Jackson isn't expected back. That leaves Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar under contract. The Vikings want to get a longer look at Webb, who started the final two games of the 2010 season after being a sixth-round pick, but they will explore their options.

"The quarterback thing is the biggest question," said Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of player personnel. "We're looking at all avenues."

Some key determinations figure to be made this week at the NFL scouting combine. The Vikings hold the 12th pick in the first round.

"There's a very good chance of [drafting a quarterback]," coach Leslie Frazier said. "That's the No. 1 position that we're really homing in on, and it's a matter of whether we're going to draft one or whether we try to sign a potential free-agent quarterback. But we're trying to determine that right now."

The Vikings got their first look at the senior quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl last month in Mobile, Ala., but the combine will give them an opportunity to visit with juniors Blaine Gabbert of Missouri, Cam Newton of Auburn and Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. (Gabbert doesn't plan to throw at the combine; Newton and Mallett are expected to throw.)

Newton and Gabbert could be gone if the Vikings stay put at 12. It doesn't help them that as many as eight other teams in the top 12 of the draft could select a quarterback.

"I think what [the Vikings] have to do is they have to grind the top four guys real hard," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "Gabbert, [Washington's Jake] Locker, Newton and Mallett. They've got to look at those four guys and first make the decision that if at No. 12 [they] believe any of them are worthwhile at that pick."

"I think the second level of discussion is if there's a playmaker there [they want to take in the first round]. For instance, if they say, 'Gabbert is the only one we like' -- and I don't know any of this, I'm just throwing it out there as an example -- 'If we like Gabbert and he's not there at 12, then are we going to take somebody else and come back in the second round. And who are our choices at that point?'"

Mayock said the next level of quarterbacks include TCU's Andy Dalton, Florida State's Christian Ponder, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick.

"One of those eight has to be a Minnesota Viking next year," Mayock said.

Even if the Vikings draft a quarterback, the short-term plan might be to bring in a veteran in free agency who can help in the development of Webb and the other newcomer. Because there could be a work stoppage when the collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3, it's uncertain when free agency might start.

Teams are allowed only 15-minute interviews with prospects at the combine, meaning more questions will have to be asked as these guys start to hold their pro days. Newton and Mallett, for instance, will be questioned about character issues.

"I know the media and the fans, you take a quarterback high, they want to see him out there whether he's ready or not," Spielman said. "I think that gets down to how ready you think he is. Can he go out there and handle that or not? Or is it something where he needs to be brought along?"

"Sure, it's great if you have the luxury of what Green Bay did and that's outstanding. They won a Super Bowl by having a Favre and bringing in [Aaron] Rodgers. Maybe Rodgers wasn't in Year One what he was when he took over as a starter. I think every team would like to have that luxury to do that, but in today's day and age, I don't know if you have that luxury."

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Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
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2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
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