The Vikings are scheduled to meet next week with three of the five top-ranked quarterbacks in the 2006 NFL Draft, according to a league source.
The team has scheduled visits with Vince Young of Texas, Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson.
Young, 6-foot-4.5 and 229 pounds and the highest rated of the three, was a three-year starter for the Longhorns and was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and was honored as the nation's top player with the Maxwell Award after his impressive showing in an upset win over the top-ranked USC Trojans in the national championship game. With Texas, he was a 65.2 percent passer with 3,036 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a team-leading 1,050 yards on the ground with 10 rushing TDs.
Former Vikings offensive consultant Jerry Rhome, who is trying to convince teams that Young's unconventional throwing motion won't be a detriment at the NFL level, was tutoring Young in preparation for the NFL Combine and his pro day.
Cutler is considered a more conventional pro-style quarterback, especially for the Vikings' West Coast offense. At 6-3.5, 226 pounds, Cutler averaged a 60 percent completion rate in his junior and senior seasons at Vanderbilt, where he threw 31 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in 2004 and 2005 despite playing behind a suspect offensive line.
Cutler's confidence and gun-slinging style has experts comparing him to Brett Favre.
Unlike Young and Cutler, Whitehurst isn't considered a first-round draft pick.
Whitehurst's measurements (6-4.5, 223) are similar to Young's, but he is a much different player. He became a starter as a red-shirt freshman and was an all-conference selection two of the last three seasons. He rebounded from a poor junior campaign to complete 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards in his senior season. As a sophomore, he had 3,561 yards passing.
Consistency seems to be Whitehurst's biggest issue, according to TFY Draft Preview.
While USC's Matt Leinart is the top-ranked quarterback and No. 2-ranked player overall, according to TFY Draft Preview and Scout.com, Young is ranked second among QBs and 10th overall. Cutler follows one spot behind Young on both counts, while Whitehurst is the fifth-ranked QB.
VikingUpdate.com and Scout.com will have more on these prospects, along with other visits scheduled and interests for the Vikings, in the coming days.
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