The Vikings are hosting their annual Top 30 visit for draft prospects at Winter Park on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team brings in potential draft targets for interviews, medical checkups and one-on-one meetings with coach Leslie Frazier, coordinators and position coaches.
Among those expected to visit are quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Andy Dalton.
Speaking at a charity event for Athletes in Action at Winter Park on Tuesday, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said most of the information gathering part of the draft process will be complete by the end of this week. Team officials will begin setting the draft board next week in preparation for the draft April 28-30.
“This will be it," Spielman said. "The last part of this where we’re trying to get all these questions answered before going to our draft meetings. There will be times where our coaches or one of scouts in the office will go out before the draft and there may be one or two [prospects] that filter in here over the next couple weeks."
While much of the predraft talk has centered on the Vikings search for a quarterback, Spielman said the team has targeted five positions that could be addressed with the No. 12 overall pick. Spielman obviously wouldn't divulge which positions but it's fair to say quarterback, defensive line, cornerback, offensive line and probably wide receiver are in that group.
"Knowing where we’re going to be at, there will be probably five positions that I know we’ll look at our 12th pick and then we’ll sort that out," he said. "Like I said, there are a lot of other needs to fill at that 12th position if it’s not a quarterback. I can tell you this: We’re going to take the best player available when it comes to our pick. That I know.”
Both Spielman and Frazier talked about the time and energy the team has devoted to evaluating the quarterback class through private workouts and other information gathering.
"It seems like that has definitely dominated the conversation, and for good reason, because of our situation," Frazier said. "We have other needs other than quarterback, but that is the most glaring one because when you look at teams that played in the Super Bowl and the teams that were in the playoffs, they had quality quarterbacks, guys they can hang their hats on for years to come, and we want to get to that point as well."
Said Spielman of the vetting process: "There are some things that I’ve tried to come up with that are out-of-the-box as we process these quarterbacks. I still think you can’t force quarterback. If you’re not comfortable with it, you’re just going to make a mistake. So if we take a quarterback at some point in the draft, it’s definitely going to be something that we’re comfortable with."