MOBILE, ALA. - The Vikings aren't in the market for quarterbacks this offseason. But they have three interesting prospects with which to work on the North team at this week's Senior Bowl: Wisconsin's Russell Wilson, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins.
Quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson has spent significant time with that trio over the past four days.
Cousins, he said, has exhibited obvious strength and a competitive desire to prove he belongs. Moore's savvy has stood out. And Wilson has been impressive with both his pocket presence and mobility.
Yes, Johnson understands major doubts exist regarding the size of Wilson (5-10 1/2, 203 pounds) and Moore (5-11 1/2, 191). But Johnson also believes they have intangibles to make the leap to the next level.
Moore, in particular, has proven his precision and intelligence.
"Every quarterback here has to realize they can't be a jack of all trades," Johnson said. "But then they have to ask, 'Can I really be good at something?' What Kellen shows is he can get the ball out of his hands, he's accurate and he knows where to go with the ball. He's been in a pro-style offense for a long time. He's made a lot of throws. And he knows, 'OK, I might not be as big and tall and strong as some guys. But I can anticipate where my receivers are going to be and get the ball there.'"
'Fear the worst'
On Christmas Eve, Mike Shanahan knew immediately upon seeing the hit that Adrian Peterson was in trouble. Shanahan was on the home sideline at FedEx Field when Peterson suffered his disastrous Week 16 knee injury. The Redskins coach instantly cringed.
"It was a freak accident," Shanahan said at the Senior Bowl. "You always fear the worst."
Perhaps Shanahan experienced a bit of a flashback, remembering back to 1999 when his own star running back in Denver, Terrell Davis, suffered a similarly catastrophic injury, tearing anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments while trying to make a tackle.
"T.D.'s was really bad," Shanahan said. "And he never fully recovered. So [with Adrian] that fear is there. But in my mind, with the technology they have nowadays plus the strength of a guy like that and the age that's he's at, you're always keeping your fingers crossed that he comes back normal."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear he has his eyes on wide receivers this week. But Frazier also admitted Wednesday that receiver is a position that often can prove difficult to assess in these environments.
"When you're evaluating guys at an All-Star game, you're also evaluating the competition they're going against," Frazier said. "So a lot of times the skill guys will stand out. But you have to be careful because you're trying to measure, 'Can they translate this to the next level where the best of the best are playing?'"