Could Brohm be the Vikings' Contingency Plan?

The Vikings have invited Brian Brohm to their annual cattle call of rookie talent, but most believe he won't be around when the Vikings pick at No. 17. But the recent history of the draft has shown that top-rated quarterbacks can slide out of the top 10 and even the top 20. Is it Brohm's turn this year?

Of all the areas that the Vikings have addressed through free agency in some way, shape or form – wide receiver, safety, fullback, defensive line and linebacker – the one position that hasn't been touched has been quarterback. The only movement has been to release veteran Kelly Holcomb.

It isn't to say that the Vikings haven't looked at the position – the team discussed a potential trade with the Texans for Sage Rosenfels, inquired about free agent Cleo Lemon and invited former Viking Gus Frerotte in for a visit. But to date, nothing has happened. Some believe the news over the weekend that the Texans would sign former Jaguars backup Quinn Gray to a one-year deal has opened the door to move Rosenfels, and until something happens the Vikings have to keep all their options open. That could include the NFL draft and, in particular, the potential that Brian Brohm of Louisville could fall into their laps.

As it currently stands, most draft analysts don't see Brohm making it to pick No. 17 because there are too many teams in need of a franchise quarterback and only Matt Ryan and Brohm being viewed as can't-miss QB prospects. You have the Dolphins, Falcons, Chiefs, Ravens, Panthers and Bears that could all be looking at quarterback, but the recent history of the quarterback slide has become something of a draft tradition. Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Leinart were viewed as top two or three picks coming out, but fell to the end of the top 10. Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn were viewed in the same vein and fell to the 20s on draft day. Few sights compare to the look on Rodgers' face in the green room as janitors were turning over chairs on adjoining tables and of Quinn, whose disconsolate fiancée was downsizing the size of her engagement rock with each subsequent pick. While not expected, the quarterback drop seems to happen – and happen pretty often.

The Vikings have shown a ton of loyalty to Tarvaris Jackson in his first two years with the team. They showed Brad Johnson the door after one season in order to open the competition for the starting job to T-Jack and did little to nothing in the way of chasing down free-agent options despite the fact that a player like Jeff Garcia, who ran the Eagles' West Coast Offense to the 2006 playoffs, was available. Since then, the team has done little in the way to diminish Jackson's confidence by bringing in a true challenger. But what happens if Brohm falls to the Vikings at No. 17?

There may be some differing opinions as to how big an impact Brohm can make on the league – some scouts have gone so far as to make comparisons to Peyton Manning, a comparison that likely isn't fair to either player. Some believe he was a product of the system that allowed him to thrown for almost 10,000 yards in his three full seasons as a starter, with 65 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

There remains the belief among the people who deal with the Vikings on a daily basis that Brad Childress is willing to stick with Jackson and hope that the promise they saw in him when they traded into the second round of the 2006 draft will come to fruition. Others believe that his loyalty to T-Jack does have contingency plans and that a player like Brohm or Ryan, should they fall to No. 17, would fill one of the options.

In the end, it might be a moot point if Brohm, as expected, goes off the board before the Vikings have a chance to decide one way or the other about his fit with the Vikings. But, if Brohm drops, the Vikings will have some hard decisions to make. After all, he is one of the players that has already been lined up for a pre-draft visit, so unless the Vikings are throwing out a smokescreen, he clearly would appear to be on the radar. While most people have the Vikings locked into taking a defensive end with their first-round pick, Brohm could be one of the true wild cards and a distinct possibility if he makes it through the mine field of teams in the top 15 that have a clearly demonstrated need for a potential franchise quarterback.

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