The QB options the Vikings passed up

The Vikings passed on 11 quarterbacks that were ultimately selected after their first choice. We look at those they declined to select, who they went with instead, and where that leaves them.

Where is the Vikings' quarterback of the future? That was one of the most-asked questions by reporters during draft "weekend."

The Vikings may have selected a few "players of the future" at different positions, but when it came the players that pass the ball, the Vikings took one big pass and took a knee during draft weekend.

They were never going to have a chance at the No. 1 overall pick, Sam Bradford, who went to St. Louis, but the Rams' selection of Bradford actually set up the Vikings to select the quarterback that many draft analysts in the media had as the second-best QB in the draft, Jimmy Clausen.

When the Vikings traded down from the 30th pick to the 34th, it seemed to set them up to select a quarterback since three teams picking next at 31 (Colts), 32 (Saints) and 33 (Rams) had no need to spend a high draft pick on the quarterback of the future. At the end of the first round, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman fielded questions about the potential of picking Clausen the next day.

He played coy and was likely hoping to increase the value of his pick at 34 in case someone wanted to trade up and pick Clausen. The Vikings fielded about a half-dozen calls, and one team reportedly was looking to move up and take Clausen. As it turned out, the Vikings passed on Clausen twice, making it clear they didn't have any early interest in him.

"I think we really had the guys identified," head coach Brad Childress said. "We had a stack of guys that we would be satisfied with at two (in the second round), if we wanted to come back a little bit further that we thought we might lose. We kind of had the guys identified that we wanted to go get."

That list didn't include a quarterback.

Here are the 13 quarterbacks selected in the draft (round-overall) with some predraft analysis and the players the Vikings took (round-overall) before that quarterback went to another team.

Jimmy Clausen (4-48, Panthers) – Clausen reportedly dropped because of concerns over a toe injury that he played through in 2009, but he was also labeled as a quarterback with an attitude that rubbed teammates the wrong way. Either way, his accomplishments at Notre Dame were many. He started 34 of 35 games and completed 557 of 865 passes for 6,894 yards with 53 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, including 28 TDs and only four INTs last year.
The Vikings picked: CB Chris Cook (2-34)

Colt McCoy (3-85, Browns) – McCoy was pegged as a good fit for the West Coast offense and had a ton of experience at Texas, where he started 52 of 53 games and completed 1,157 of 1,645 passes (70.3 percent) for 13,253 yards with 112 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. His 77.6 completion percentage in 2008 broke the NCAA record previously established by Daunte Culpepper, and McCoy became the winningest college QB in NCAA history.
The Vikings picked: RB Toby Gerhart, 2-51

Mike Kafka (4-122, Eagles) – He didn't step into a full-time starting role at Northwestern until 2008. In 2009, he completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,430 yards and 16 TDs and also ran for eight touchdowns. He did have 12 INTs.
The Vikings picked: DE Everson Griffen (4-100)

John Skelton (5-155, Cardinals) – Skelton is a raw prospect from a small school, Fordham, so his level of competition was an issue, but he brought a strong arm and prototypical size to the NFL Scouting Combine. Ultimately, he needs to work on his footwork, but with time he could prove to be a solid mid-round value.
The Vikings picked: DE Everson Griffin (4-100)

Jonathan Crompton (5-168, Chargers) – The Tennessee quarterback threw 27 TDs and 13 INTs last season and was considered good value in the fifth round. Crompton started only 19 games and completed only 55 percent of his passes.
The Vikings picked: G Chris DeGeare (5-161) and LB Nate Triplett (5-167)

Rusty Smith (6-176, Titans) – The Florida Atlantic prospect has great size at 6-foot-5 and 224 pounds. In four seasons, he threw for 10,112 yards and 76 TDs.
The Vikings picked: G Chris DeGeare (5-161) and LB Nate Triplett (5-167)

Dan LeFevour (6-181, Bears) – He brings experience (51 start) and production, finishing his career completing 1,171 of 1,763 passes for 12,905 yards with 102 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He also improved his completion percentage every year (63.7, 65.4, 66.8, 69.7) and is athletic, rushing 671 times for 2,948 yards and 47 touchdowns. The level of competition at Central Michigan, however, was questioned.
The Vikings picked: G Chris DeGeare (5-161) and LB Nate Triplett (5-167)

Tony Pike (6-204, Panthers) – The two-year starter completed 410 of 666 passes for 4,927 yards with 48 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2008 and 2009, but his lanky build and perceived cocky attitude may have held him back.
The Vikings picked: WR Joe Webb (6-199)

Levi Brown (7-209, Bills) – After biding his time at Richmond and transferring to Troy, Brown finally found production. In 2009, he completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 4,254 yards, 23 TDs and nine INTs.
The Vikings picked: WR Joe Webb (6-199)

Sean Canfield (7-239, Saints) – After suffering a shoulder injury early in his junior season, Canfield rebounded to start 13 games last year, completing 303 of 446 passes for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He struggled at the Senior Bowl, which may have cost him a few rounds of draft equity.
The Vikings picked: TE Mickey Shuler (7-214) and FB Ryan D'Imperio (7-237).

Zac Robinson (7-250, Patriots) – His most productive season was his junior year, when he broke into the Oklahoma State record book with several passing and offensive records. Finished his career with 8,317 yards, 66 TDs and 31 INTs.
The Vikings picked: TE Mickey Shuler (7-214) and FB Ryan D'Imperio (7-237).

In all, there were 13 quarterbacks taken in the draft, 11 that the Vikings had a shot at and didn't select. They also didn't sign the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl, Jarrett Brown, who went undrafted and signed with the San Francisco 49ers following the draft.

Instead, the Vikings will look at William & Mary QB R.J. Archer and former LSU-gone-Jacksonville State QB Ryan Perrilloux as potential developmental guys in their rookie camp, which starts Friday.

"We develop a quarterback board just like we develop every other position on our board," Spielman said after the draft. "If there is a potential guy there that we feel is the right fit or what we want and what Brad (Childress) wants and the coaches want to fit this offensive scheme, then we would pull the trigger just like we would with any other position."

Childress indicated that the Vikings' quarterback of the future still isn't certain, which makes the pass on a quarterback in the draft even more surprising.

"The native thing in this is change. I think I said the other day that (whether) the guy who is going to be quarterback here is on our roster or somebody that we're going to acquire, this remains to be seen," Childress said. "It just keeps changing. I'll let you guys zero-in on that and provide an opinion."

There are two opinions from this angle: 1) The Vikings obviously weren't impressed with this year's quarterback class; 2) They feel comfortable with their other options currently on the roster or potentially available in next year's free agency.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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