In all fairness to Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, Minnesota is desperate for a quarterback. Ponder, who was selected 11th overall in 2011, has had multiple opportunities to show he’s the guy. Cassel, just recently signed a two-year extension with the team, but presumably as a back-up. Unfortunately for Ponder, he has become expendable, and the team is now in search of another signal caller. Why not Ryan Mallett?
According to many NFL experts, Minnesota should use their number eight overall pick on a quarterback. For example, NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah explains Minnesota could very well find their guy at number eight. Jeremiah writes:
” The Vikings could find their long-term answer with the No. 8 overall pick, or they could take a passer in the second round and use their first pick to upgrade their defense.”
Top QB prospects Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Johnny Manziel would all fit in nicely with Minnesota and be an instant improvement at the position. But after reaching for Christian Ponder in 2011, should Minnesota take a QB as high as number 8? Here comes the Ryan Mallett argument.
At 6’6” and 245 pounds, Mallett has had the luxury of learning from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for three seasons in New England. His size and frame make him ideal for a Norv Turner offense. Other big, pure pocket passers who have learned under Turner, such as Troy Aikman and Philip Rivers, have flourished in his system.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has expressed the possibility of drafting defense with the number eight pick. DE Khalil Mack, for example, would answer the loss of former DE Jared Allen. Also, Minnesota has a need at CB. Michigan State’s Darqueeze Dennard, or Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert could fit well with the Vikings. Since New England isn’t demanding a first rounder for Mallett, Minnesota could address defense early in the draft and select a QB in the later rounds.
I believe there is much more to Mallett than just size and arm strength. For example, his ability to play in cold weather would suit perfectly in Minnesota. Over the next two seasons, the Vikings will be playing outdoors as their new stadium is under construction.
Mallett has also shown he’s a very good play action QB. A feat that will favor both Mallett and All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson. Peterson, who ran for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013, is 29 years old. Though it’s obvious he still has plenty left in the tank, history has shown that after turning 30 very few running backs have had much success.
Aside from Peterson, TE Kyle Rudolph, wideouts Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson, and last years rookie sensation Cordarrelle Patterson will join whoever Minnesota decides to name as their signal caller.