Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings' QB drafting drought precedes Spielman

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFL draft Updated: April 9, 2014 - 11:03 AM

With the 29th overall pick in their first year of existence, your Minnesota Vikings selected Fran Tarkenton, quarterback, Georgia.

It's been pretty much downhill ever since as far as the Vikings and the drafting of quarterbacks are concerned.

Since the NFL was a 14-team league back in 1961, Tarkenton was a third-round pick even though he was 29th overall. All he did was last 18 seasons, 13 with the Vikings, and throw 342 touchdowns, pile up 47,003 passing yards and make the Hall of Fame.

However ...

Since Tarkenton was selected, the Vikings have taken 24 more swings at drafting quarterbacks. Based on our research of the stats at profootballreference.com, 12 of those 24 quarterbacks (yep, 50 percent) never played a regular-season game for the Vikings. And if you include Bill Cappleman (1970) and Gino Torretta (1993), who each played only one game in one season, that's 14 of 24 picks (58.3 percent) who played fewer than two regular-season GAMES for the Vikings.

Next month's draft will be the Vikings' 54th NFL draft. They've NEVER selected a quarterback in the top 10. Never. That could change with the Vikings picking eighth and -- rumor has it -- in desperate need of a young franchise QB.

It took the Vikings until their 17th draft to take a quarterback in the first round. Tommy Kramer, at No. 27 overall, was a success, lasting 13 years with the Vikings and 14 in the NFL.

It would be another 22 years before the Vikings dipped into the first round for a quarterback, taking Daunte Culpepper 11th overall. Fans have always had a love-hate relationship with Culpepper, but he was a good pick. He played six years for the Vikings, would have won the 2004 league MVP if not for Peyton Manning, and would have had an even better career if not for the devastating knee injury in 2005.

With Culpepper at the height of his career and still months from blowing out his knee, the Vikings had no use for a guy named Aaron Rodgers when the 2005 draft rolled around. So with the seventh and 18th  picks overall, the Vikings took Troy Williamson and Erasmus James, respectively. The Packers took Rodgers seven picks later.

Doh!

The guy Rodgers replaced in Green Bay, a fella named Favre, contributed to the next mistake the Vikings made when it comes to QBs and first rounds. With Favre ending his two-year run in Minnesota with the first convincing retirement talk of his career, the Vikings knew they needed a quarterback.

The NFL lockout prevented them from signing their typical stopgap big-name veteran quarterback before the draft was held. So the Vikings essentially panicked and reached for Christian Ponder at No. 12 and later complicated the mistake by signing an out-of-gas Donovan McNabb. And while the still-active and still-Purple Ponder still has a chance to prove himself worthy of a first-round pick, let's just say the odds are stacked heavily against him. The Vikings haven't said it's over for Ponder, but you might have noticed that their GM, head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach have spent a month or so kicking the tires on every top college quarterback from coast to coast.

So, to recap, that's 53 drafts and three first-round QBs taken by the Vikings. Here's the breakdown:

Quarterbacks drafted by the Vikings since joining the NFL in 1961: 25.

Quarterbacks drafted by the Vikings in the top 10 since 1961: 0.

Quarterbacks drafted in the first round by the Vikings since 1961: 3.

Tommy Kramer (27th overall, 1977), Daunte Culpepper (11th overall, 1999), Christian Ponder (12th overall, 2011).

Quarterbacks drafted by Vikings who never played a regular-season game in the NFL: 7.

Mike McFarland (1961, Round 20); Mailon Kent (1962, Round 20), John Hankinson (1965, Round 8), Jim Haynie (1968, Round 15), Bill Salmon (1976, Round 10), Chad May (1995, Round 4), John David Booty (2008, Round 5).

Quarterbacks drafted by the Vikings who never played a regular-season game for the Vikings:  12.

The seven immediately above as well as Brian Dowling (1969, Round 11), Neil Graff (1972, Round 16), Mike Wells (1973, Round 4), Brent Pease (1987, Round 11), Tyler Thigpen (2007, Round 7).

Quarterbacks drafted by the Vikings who played only one season for the Vikings: 2.

Bill Cappleman (1970, Round 2, appeared in 1 game, attempted seven passes), Gino Torretta (1993, Round 7, appeared in 1 game, did not attempt a pass).

THE GOOD: It hasn't been all gloom and doom since the Tarkenton pick. Wade Wilson, an eighth-round pick in 1981, played 17 NFL seasons, including 10 with the Vikings. He went 27-21 as a Vikings starter. ... Brad Johnson, a ninth-round pick in 1992, played 15 NFL seasons, seven over two stints with the Vikings. He won a Super Bowl, but not with the Vikings, of course.

THE BAD: The 2006 draft will be remembered as a relatively weak one overall. But trading up in the second round for a small-school prospect named Tarvaris Jackson was the impetus (along with Culpepper's injury in 2005) behind the current state of the Vikings' quarterback situation. But, hey, without a swing and a miss on T-Jack, we never would have experience Favreapalooza three years later.

THE UGLY: It was a much different era. College players weren't scrutinized before the draft the way they are now. Plus, there was no free agency and fewer situational players, so depth wasn't as big a deal. A group of veterans would stick together for years while draft picks were essentially tossed aside. So keep that in mind as we throw out the Cappleman pick in 1970. He was the 51st overall pick out of Florida State. According to profootballreference.com, he played two NFL seasons, including one for the Vikings. He attempted seven passes and completed four in his one and only appearance for the Vikings. According to Vikings.com, Cappleman was traded for a fourth-round pick in 1973. The Vikings used that pick on another quarterback, Mike Wells, who never played for the Vikings and lasted only seven games in one NFL season.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 115 FINAL
Orlando 100
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 103
Denver 69 FINAL
Memphis 99
Chicago 118 FINAL
LA Lakers 123
Montreal 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Boston 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 FINAL
Toronto 1
Dallas 6 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Columbus 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Nashville 4 FINAL(SO)
St. Louis 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Calgary 0
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL
San Jose 6
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 67 FINAL
Army 71
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 87 FINAL
Detroit 93
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 60 FINAL
George Mason 68
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 72 FINAL
Mercer 75
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
FIU 56 FINAL
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 67 FINAL
St Francis-NY 73
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 70 FINAL
Towson 74
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 FINAL
Wagner 75
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 46 FINAL
Ga Southern 83
Holy Cross 54 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 64
Eastern Ill 51 FINAL
UT Martin 81
Jacksonville St 82 FINAL
Belmont 103
Connecticut 58 FINAL
Cincinnati 70
Rider 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 49
SIU Edwardsville 75 FINAL
SE Missouri St 61
Marshall 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 54
Tenn Tech 56 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Middle Tennessee 58 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Ill-Chicago 65 FINAL
Milwaukee 71
Weber State 67 FINAL
North Dakota 60
Denver 54 FINAL
North Dakota St 61
IUPU-Ft Wayne 66 FINAL
South Dakota 55
Louisiana 85 FINAL
South Alabama 89
Ark-Little Rock 75 FINAL
Arkansas State 65
Georgia State 88 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 74
ULM 58 FINAL
Troy 55
Portland 46 FINAL
Gonzaga 64
Kentucky 69 FINAL
Missouri 53
Eastern Ky 78 FINAL
Murray State 85
UAB 69 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 71
Idaho State 76 FINAL
Northern Colorado 79
UMKC 57 FINAL
Grand Canyon 78
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Utah Valley U 78
Colorado 98 FINAL
USC 94
Cal Poly 57 FINAL
UC Irvine 67
Hawaii 84 FINAL
CS-Northridge 73
Pepperdine 50 FINAL
Pacific 43
Santa Clara 64 FINAL
San Diego 69
Utah 59 FINAL
UCLA 69
UC Santa Barbara 64 FINAL
UC Davis 70
Montana 73 FINAL
Portland State 54
Montana State 59 FINAL
Sacramento St 75
Long Beach State 91 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 85
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
St Marys-CA 68
San Francisco 74 FINAL
BYU 78
California 76 FINAL
Washington St 67
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
ULM 51 FINAL
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
(24) Oklahoma 81 FINAL
(14) Texas 84
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Clemson 62 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 68 FINAL
Florida 52
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 87 FINAL
Sam Houston St 68
Fla Gulf Coast 71 FINAL
Lipscomb 49
Vanderbilt 44 FINAL
(18) Miss State 69
IUPUI 62 FINAL
Western Ill 73
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Houston Baptist 50
Incarnate Word 54 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 63
McNeese State 78 FINAL
SE Louisiana 57
Oral Roberts 46 FINAL
South Dakota St 71
Louisiana Tech 66 FINAL
Western Ky 82
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 73
Texas-El Paso 52 FINAL
UAB 67
Auburn 47 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Grand Canyon 65 FINAL
UMKC 59
Illinois 57 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 59
(20) Iowa 102 FINAL
Northwestern 99
Utah Valley U 55 FINAL
Chicago State 60
Green Bay 67 FINAL
Valparaiso 52
Ole Miss 41 FINAL
LSU 70
Portland State 31 FINAL
Montana 72
Sacramento St 64 FINAL
Montana State 91
North Dakota 55 FINAL
Weber State 48
Ohio State 85 FINAL
Wisconsin 73
Northern Colorado 61 FINAL
Idaho State 70
BYU 68 FINAL
San Francisco 63
St Marys-CA 56 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 49
Pacific 63 FINAL
Pepperdine 59
Cal-Irvine 61 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 58
San Diego 64 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
UC Davis 64 FINAL
Cal Poly 72
Long Beach St 64 FINAL
Hawaii 72
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
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
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT