Will Future QB Come Out of the Draft?

With the shock of the Daunte Culpepper trade dying down, the Vikings now must address their future at the position with the question of where the next franchise QB will come from? Some are speculating that the draft this year will be the answer. But who would a potential dance partner be?

The Vikings currently sit with three draft picks in the top 51 selections. Granted, two of those are Nos. 48 and 51, but the Vikings are the only team that can say they have three picks that high. Now what they have to gauge is, will that be enough to get one of the teams high on the draft board to make a move?

The problem becomes a little dicey, because, unless the Vikings move up to the No. 1 pick and take Matt Leinart, there would be no guarantee that if they moved into the top of the first round -- even at No. 2 from the Saints -- that they would get Leinart.

There is also a belief that those teams sitting at the top of the draft might ask for more than the Vikings would be willing to part with for the pick. Considering that Daunte Culpepper was only worth a second-round pick when dangled to every team in the league, what would give fans the idea that the pick the Vikings got for Culpepper added to the 17th and 48th pick would make sense?

If there is a deal to be made for the Vikings to move up in the draft, almost by force it will likely have to come on draft day itself. While there are some tantalizing players on the board, including Leinart, Vince Young of Texas and Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt, getting into the position to make a deal might be more difficult and expensive that the Vikings may want to undertake.

If the deal Alex Smith signed with the 49ers is the new benchmark for top-end QBs in the draft, the Vikings will end up spending more money on the new guy they would have potentially needed to pay Culpepper. It might not make a lot of sense, but that's how the NFL money train works.

SUNDAY NOTES
* Gus Frerotte officially signed his contract to join the Rams Saturday. He had a couple of pointed comments about how the Dolphins and Nick Saban handled his situation as they courted Culpepper and Drew Brees, who eventually signed with the Saints when the Dolphins balked at his contract demands. Frerotte's frequent flier miles continue to pile up. The Rams will be his seventh team in his 13-year NFL career.
* Sources with the Seahawks say that if the arbitrator hearing the grievance over the clauses in the offer sheet extended to Steve Hutchinson sides with the Vikings and the players association and determines the stipulations will stand, it will likely be a deal-breaker for the Seahawks. A decision from the arbitrator is expected Monday morning. The Seahawks will then likely decide within a couple of hours whether to match the offer or not. However, while the Viking's free agent activity has been at a standstill since the Hutchinson offer sheet, Seattle remains busy. Nate Burleson was said to have had a productive meeting in the two days he met with club officials and the Seahawks have come close to working out a deal with the Jets to trade for John Abraham. But the problem is that Abraham was allowed to elicit offers from other teams and the Falcons have reportedly offered him a huge contract, but the Jets and Falcons haven't discussed compensation -- meaning two half-trades have been completed, but, as of now, Abraham remains a Jet.
* The Vikings' 2006 schedule just keeps getting more interesting. With the recent head-butting with Seattle over the Hutchinson deal, if he ends up a Viking, he will return to Seattle during the regular season for a homecoming. Dennis Green will make his first regular-season appearance back at the Metrodome since being fired by Red McCombs. Scott Linehan will also make his return to the Dome when the Rams come to town (along with safety Corey Chavous). Pat Williams will also make his first trip back to Buffalo since signing away to the Vikes. And, if there's any chance anybody has forgotten Culpepper, the Vikings will play in Miami this season.

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