Vikings still not among first-round QB club

The Vikings have become a contender in the eyes of many because they got a proven starter at quarterback. But even Brett Favre wasn't a first-round draft pick, leaving the Vikings among the minority of teams when it comes to sporting first-round QBs on their roster.

Any time a quarterback is taken in the middle rounds, we are reminded of the stories of guys like Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Tony Romo – one guy who was taken in the sixth round of the draft and two others who went undrafted, yet went on the NFL stardom.

But, the fact is, many quarterbacks taken from the second round and beyond fail to become great NFL quarterbacks. While no quarterback is a lock when taken in the first round, a look around the league shows you that most teams have a first-round QB either starting or backing up or both.

Brett Favre was close to a first-round pick, selected 33rd overall by the Atlanta Falcons. The fact the Vikings aren't in the group of team's with first-round quarterbacks is more unique than some might think, since the vast of majority of teams have a first-rounder who came to the NFL with star potential on the roster. Consider the following:

AFC EAST – The Patriots have Brady and the Bills have Trent Edwards, who was drafted in the third round and became the starter when the Bills gave up on volatile first-rounder J.P. Losman. But the Jets have two first-rounders that are divisional starters – Matt Sanchez and the guy they let go when they signed Brett Favre, Miami starter Chad Pennington.

AFC NORTH – The division is littered with No. 1 picks, with Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco and Brady Quinn all fitting in that role.

AFC SOUTH – Peyton Manning of the Colts, like Palmer, was a first overall selection. Matt Schaub wasn't a first-rounder, but backup Rex Grossman was. The Titans have a pair of first-rounders in Kerry Collins and Vince Young. Only Jacksonville bucks the trend in this division having a non-first rounder with David Garrard.

AFC WEST – Two in and two out here, as the Raiders have JaMarcus Russell, a former first overall pick, and the Chargers have Philip Rivers, who was traded for the first overall pick (Eli Manning). The other two teams – Kansas City and Denver – aren't as fortunate with Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton, as the Broncos traded away their disgruntled first-round QB to Chicago.

AFC TOTAL – Eleven teams with a first-rounder, five without.

NFC EAST – Romo stands alone here with Dallas, as the other three all have first-round QBs starting – Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick in Philadelphia, Eli Manning in New York and Jason Campbell in Washington.

NFC NORTH – Thanks to an offseason QB infusion, this would have been a clean sweep but for the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Daunte Culpepper all meet the first-round criteria.

AFC SOUTH – Two teams are covered here – Atlanta with Matt Ryan and Tampa Bay with Josh Freeman – and two aren't. The Saints got as close as can, since Drew Brees was the first pick in the second round, but the Panthers have neglected QB in the draft and sit with Jake Delhomme as their starter.

AFC WEST – Three teams have first-round QBs, although no first-round starters are here. The Cardinals, Rams and 49ers have Matt Leinart, Kyle Boller and Alex Smith sitting on their benches, while the only team without a first-rounder has experienced the most production is Seattle with Matt Hasselbeck

NFC TOTAL – Eleven teams with a first-rounder, five without.

Of the 32 teams in the NFL, a whopping 22 have at least one first-round quarterback on their roster. In a league of trends and copying, that one can't be overlooked. The Vikings are suddenly being viewed as one of the favorites in the NFC because they finally got an established starter, even though he wasn't a first-rounder. Next year, the Vikings just might join the first-round QB club during the draft.

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