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Waiting Could be Wise for QB-Seeking Vikings

Updated: 05/08/2014 6:58 PM
Created: 05/08/2014 6:18 AM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert

The Minnesota Vikings could use a young quarterback to ride into the future. With the eighth overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, they'll have plenty available.

For all the headlines generated at the top of the class by Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater, though, the Vikings could find the guy who fits them best after the first round.

With Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Nick Foles as recent examples, teams have found successful starters on the second day of the draft. This year, for all the lingering uncertainty about Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater, a relatively rich second tier of quarterbacks gives the Vikings reason to wait.

The Vikings will start with eight picks for the seven rounds, with the eighth, 40th, 72nd, 96th, 108th, 148th, 184th and 223rd overall selections.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said Tuesday in a pre-draft press conference drafting a quarterback is the toughest job out there, saying "either they're the franchise guy, or they're not good enough."

He also said the team will not trade quarterback Christian Ponder, the team's first-round draft pick in 2011 who has struggled in the starter's role and now is the backup to veteran Matt Cassel.

"That would leave us with one quarterback," Spielman said about trading Ponder. "We're going to need two quarterbacks. Three."

The Vikings decided not to pick up Ponder's fifth-year option, which would have paid him just under $10 million in 2015. Spielman said that was "to make sure we kept all our options going forward, especially financially."

Spielman also said he has not been in talks with the St. Louis Rams about the possibility of trading for Sam Bradford, a widespread rumor in previous weeks.

While being patient may be the right decision this time around, Spielman isn't afraid to be aggressive.

"To me, you always have to be aggressive, you have to do things that you want to think that are going to help your football club and help you win ball games on Sunday," Spielman said. "The one thing you cannot be afraid of at this job is to take chances or take risks on guys that you feel strongly about. When you don't do that, I don't know how you get better."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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