A sleeper QB to dream about?

The Vikings have almost no shot at the top two quarterbacks without moving up, and might not even get a chance at the third QB in the draft. But what about a mid-round prospect that very few are talking about? NFL Films' Greg Cosell isn't sleeping on his No. 4 quarterback in the draft. Could this be the 2009 steal of the draft, a player few fans knew about?

And the draft debate rolls on.

Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez? While most draft analysts agree that those are the top two quarterbacks in this year's draft, they can't all agree on which one is better.

Scout.com's Chris Steuber has been consistent in his belief that Sanchez will be the better NFL quarterback, but NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell says that Sanchez isn't a top-10 quarterback. His impression of Stafford is much more favorable.

"Matthew Stafford to me is a No. 1 pick in a draft, talent-wise," Cosell told Sirius NFL Radio. "… You need more structure with a guy like Sanchez."

Cosell believes that Stafford is better at avoiding the rush – saying he has "elite NFL skills" and the ability to move in a "muddy" pocket – and didn't have the surrounding talent at Georgia that Sanchez had at USC.

In reality, the Vikings likely won't have a chance at either of the top two quarterbacks unless they are willing to move up in this year's draft, which seems doubtful. They might not have a chance at Kansas State's Josh Freeman, who appears to be the consensus No. 3 quarterback available.

After that, it could be a round or two before any more quarterbacks are taken, but Cosell believes there could be a sleeper that isn't getting much mention – former Washington State redshirt QB Mike Reilly, who ended up at Central Washington.

"I think as a pro prospect, he's the fourth-best guy in this draft," Cosell told Sirius NFL Radio. "Freeman is obviously the next guy (after Stafford and Sanchez). He's got a ton of skills, but after that Mike Reilly to me – and I've watched him on film and I watched him against his only Division I game, which was Montana – I think this kid shows NFL attributes."

After transferring from Washington State to Central Washington in order to play right away, Reilly amassed 12,448 yards passing, throwing 118 touchdowns and 40 interceptions for the Wildcats.

"I love when I read stuff and it says, ‘This guy has an average arm.' Well, if you watch him on film, he doesn't have an average arm. He actually has a pretty good arm," Cosell said. "I understand it's not against top competition, but that's not the point. He's also not playing with top competition either. He's playing with the same type of guys (on his team) that he's playing against, so you look for attributes and he's got NFL attributes. Having said that, we all know he's not going to be drafted in the top two rounds, but there's a quarterback from two years ago that I really liked named Matt Moore out of Oregon State and I can tell you for a fact that he's in Carolina and (Panthers head coach) John Fox thinks he's going to be a starting quarterback in this league."

Reilly already has NFL size for a quarterback, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 214 pounds. He also had above-average arm length and hand size, according to NFL Scouting Combine measurements.

His NFL hero is former Central Washington standout Jon Kitna, now a backup with the Dallas Cowboys, and Reilly seems to have the leadership qualities of an NFL quarterback.

"Coming from Division II, when I step in the huddle, they ask me how I'd handle it if say Adrian Peterson was telling me to hurry up and call the play," Reilly told Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. "I tell them I've played with big-name guys. I'm the quarterback. I don't care if I'm in the huddle with the Dallas Cowboys or a sandlot team back home. It's my role to take charge."

While the Vikings' plans for this year are to have Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson battle it out for the starting spot, it's very possible that a fourth quarterback could enter into a competition with last year's fifth-round draft pick at quarterback, John David Booty, for the final roster spot at the position.

NOTES

  • Receiver is undoubtedly a position of interest for the Vikings and Percy Harvin is one of the most mentioned receivers in connection with the Vikings. Will his character concerns prevent the Vikings from selecting him at No. 22 if he's still available? Cosell judges players by their tape, and here is what he told Sirius about the Florida receiver: "Harvin is interesting because right now it's hard to get a feel as to whether he can line up as an X or a Z as a starting wide receiver in the National Football League. Down the road, certainly no one can answer how he'll learn or how he'll be used, but I think he'll get drafted relatively high because guys that can score touchdowns tend to get drafted relatively high. He's one of those guys. I think early on … you're going to see him as a sub-package player, as a movement player. He will not line up as an X or a Z in a base personnel package offense."

    However, Harvin has several red flags for character concerns and FoxSports.com reported that he was one of the players to test positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine.

  • Another sleeper from Cosell is Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn, who is actually the fourth-ranked safety on Scout.com's list. Cosell said Vaughn has cornerback skills at the safety position.

  • A final draft observation from Cosell: Alabama tackle Andre Smith does not have prototypical left tackle skills, according to Cosell's assessment.

  • If you are looking to make your own assessment of the Vikings' draft needs, their roster at VikingUpdate.com has been updated.


  • Viking Update Top Stories