The 2014 NFL draft is still months away, but for the Minnesota Vikings and fans, the anticipation is building up at high levels.
The Vikings ended up with the #8 selection and this could be good or bad. The quarterback class is great at the top with three guys that will likely be selected in the top-5. Minnesota may not be fortunate enough to land one of these guys, but there are still options for them that could drastically improve the team.
Let’s say that quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel are all selected before the Vikings can draft. The Vikings could take a slight risk on drafting quarterback Derek Carr of Fresno State, or they could take the best available player to their current needs: corner Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State.
The teams ahead of Minnesota are in need of offensive line help, quarterback help, and wide receiver help more than anything. It’s highly likely that Gilbert will be there at #8 for the Vikings to grab.
I’m not completely sold on Carr as the future quarterback of the Vikings. Many mock drafts have the Vikings selecting Carr with the #8 pick, but many others have him going into the late first, or early second round. Gilbert, on the other hand, would make an immediate impact on one of the worst passing defenses in all of football.
Gilbert is listed at 6-feet, 200 pounds. He’s fast and physical and has the potential to be an NFL superstar at his position.
Some of you are probably wondering if I’m insane by saying that the Vikings shouldn’t select a quarterback with the #8 pick, but truthfully, the quarterbacks are top-five-heavy; selecting the best player available would be the Vikings’ best move. Remember when the team gambled on Christian Ponder? Yeah, I’d rather not see a repeat of that again.
Of course there’s still a good possibility that the Vikings will end up with the option of drafting one of the big three quarterbacks with their pick. The likely guys would be Bortles or Bridgewater as the experts are now beginning to put Manziel as being the top pick.
Minnesota could also bribe the Houston Texans with a trade offer for the first pick if they are really set on drafting Manziel, but that will come at a high price because Houston is also in desperate need of a quarterback and Manziel could be a once in a decade type of quarterback, much like Peyton Manning was in 1998 when the Indianapolis Colts drafted him first overall.
Houston would likely want at least the #8 draft choice along with the Vikings’ second and third round picks in exchange for the number one pick. A future first-round pick could also come into play.
If that trade went through, the Vikings would gain Manziel, a sure lock to be an NFL superstar, but they’d lose a lot in the draft. Second and third round players can be huge assets to a team that is rebuilding, and the Vikings are rebuilding.
Rick Spielman will have quite a few options ahead of him and he’ll need to weigh his options heavily to make the BEST choice for the Vikings, which ultimately could end up being Gilbert.
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