Vikings have many influences in QB decision

Rick Spielman knows the pressure is on to get it right at quarterback and he will rely on two Turners and his scouting staff to help him make the draft decision.

On Tuesday, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman made what are likely his last public remarks until after the Vikings make their first selection – be it at No. 8 or a number to be determined – in the 2014 draft.

Spielman took a volley of questions Tuesday, including being asked how many of the members of the quarterback fraternity of 2014 he viewed as being potential NFL starters.

Spielman responded by saying if and when (more when than if) the Vikings draft a quarterback, offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who helped develop Troy Aikman and Philip Rivers, will likely wield a strong opinion on Options A, B or C at quarterback.

"That's all the prediction part," Spielman said. "You listen to Norv. You listen to his expertise and what he thinks. We listen to (quarterbacks coach) Scott Turner as well."

But those aren't the only opinions that will go into the Vikings' quarterback draft saga. There will be the vetting of those on the payroll who earn the reputations at this time of year.

"I also have to listen to my scouts," Spielman said. "Those guys know these (prospects) the best from the background – from how hard they work, all the holes that come with them. I think that position is the hardest position to predict because it's so unpredictable. To me, either you're the franchise guy or you're not good enough. That's what teams are always trying to find – that franchise guy."

If you were to poll the electorate, the consensus (a.k.a. landslide) is that the "franchise guy" is not currently on the roster. By about 8:30 p.m. Thursday? That may be a different story.


  • Asked where the focus should be in the draft – offense or defense – Spielman deftly deflected the question (it's not his first rodeo). Asked which side of the ball was strongest at the moment, he expanded.

    "Coming off last season, I would say the offensive side," Spielman said, quickly followed by, "but I know by us being able to do what we did in free agency this year – going out and being very aggressive to fill a lot of holes on the defensive line, to go out and get a Captain Munnerlyn to help in the nickel, that gave us the flexibility in this draft to just go by the board and take the best player available."

  • On the proliferation of underclassmen entering the NFL, Spielman believes the golden goose is awfully tempting for athletes putting lucrative futures on the line.

    "It seems to be growing and growing every year," Spielman said. "I can't give you and explanation why. I know the NFL has tried to work extremely hard with the colleges to try to keep these kids in, especially if they're not going to be first-round-graded players. Each kid (has) specific reasons why (he's) coming out. Sometimes it's family issues. Sometimes he wasn't eligible to play next year anyway. There are many different reasons why players come out."

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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