Pardon the pun.
The Minnesota Vikings currently sit with the 8th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and the topic of discussion in Minneapolis has been the quarterback position. Rightfully so, the Vikings haven’t had a franchise quarterback since Daunte Culpepper (Brett Favre barely counts, people) and after the failed experiment of Christian Ponder, Ziggy Wolf is left looking for answers.
Well, don’t look too far Ziggy. The 2014 draft is packed full of exciting QB prospects. There is no Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson, possibly not even close, but for desperate teams looking to fill the void, this is the year.
You would have to think the top 3 prospects, Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles, will be drafted top 10, possibly top five. Minnesota might miss out and be left with Derek Carr, a good, but borderline top-10-worthy, signal caller.
That is why I feel they should try and trade up to the number one pick, and draft Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel. The Vikings have an extra 3rd round pick from Seattle, thanks to the Percy Harvin trade, and pairing the 8th pick, two 3rd rounders and a 4th round might make the Texans consider. This all, of course, depends on whether the Texans want a QB for themselves, as new head coach Bill O’Brien has spoken highly of UCF’s Bortles. But let us just imagine.
I have liked everything I have seen out of Bortles. He is raw, very raw and with only one true season as a college starter, it is hard to gauge how he will continue to develop. He is blessed with outstanding processing speed, accuracy, touch, poise, and has that “it” factor of improvisation and instincts. If he can put it together consistently, he is very much worthy of the number one pick in the draft.
Many compare him to Big Ben Roethlisberger, thanks to the mid major pedigree and intimidating stature. If that is who the Vikings brass believes will be the franchise QB of the future, I would not disagree.
However, Manziel is a player that doesn’t come along very often. Pair him with the talent that Minnesota has around the ball and watch out, things in the NFC North just got a little more interesting. Plus, can you imagine the read option with Manziel and Adrian Peterson? Deadly.
Manziel proved a lot this year in college, he improved his footwork, accuracy and even his arm strength. His sixth sense is unlike some we’ve ever seen, and his ability to extend plays might mean damage against opposing defenses, especially with the speedy Cordarelle Patterson running around.
Does he need a lot of work still? Yes. Is he a gamble? Hell yes. But in my opinion there is no other way to ring in a new coach and stadium then with the most exciting and intriguing player in the draft. Hey Ziggy, can you imagine the ticket and jersey sales? I see dollar signs.