Although the Minnesota Vikings secondary could use a lot of work, there is no doubt that this team’s biggest need is at the quarterback position, and it’s more than just a case of the QB position trumping all. Christian Ponder just doesn’t have the physical tools to be a franchise quarterback, but he is accurate enough to be one of the best backup QBs in the league going forward. Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman just about done in Minnesota, so it’s important for the Vikings to find their franchise guy to start over Ponder. Most people- I’m no different- have the Vikings selecting Derek Carr with the eighth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and I think he would be a terrific fit for this team. In fact, he might be the second-best QB in the class, because he’s more polished than Blake Bortles.
In my opinion, the Vikings best bet is to draft a quarterback in the first round and find their franchise QB through that route, but there’s still a slight chance that they could decide to sign a free agent or trade for somebody. ESPN NFL Nation’s Ben Goessling mulled over some of those possibilities in a piece today, and it was interesting to read his thoughts on how New England Patriots second-string QB Ryan Mallett could fit the Vikings.
Goessling mentions Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins before moving onto Mallett as a potential option, and he writes that Mallett and Adrian Peterson have a “friendly relationship”. That can only help Mallett, who could be the kind of QB Norv Turner would like to mold into a franchise guy. He has all the physical tools with a rocket arm, but he is inconsistent with his accuracy, decision-making, and fluidity in the pocket. Mallett has the upside of a No. 1 QB, but he’s a huge wild card since we don’t know just how much he’s developed over the years in New England. Working under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick is a nice way to pad your resume, but I wonder just how important that is when actually evaluating someone as a QB.
Even though he’s an intriguing option and the best trade target at the position, I don’t see him as a better option than drafting a QB for the Vikings.. The second-round price tag on Mallett isn’t as expensive as the first-round price tag of a franchise QB in this year’s draft, but a QB in the draft is younger and could very well be deemed as better by the Vikings organization.