Sunday, April 24, 2011

What will the Vikings find in their basket?

Hey, did you like that? It was a combination of a football headline AND a reference to the fact that today is Easter. The draft is coming up on Thursday, or at least the first round of the draft is on thursday in the comically prolonged, now made for TV event. One of the most interesting teams this year will be the Vikings, who above all else will be looking to add a quarterback. I would talk about the Colts, but there is only so much you can say about offensive tackles. There are several, and one of them will go to Indy in the first round. They are a fairly boring specimen when it comes to talking draft and draft strategy.  A quarterback can entirely affect the way a team runs their offense.
Now, I posed the question above as though it were a question. I am about 75% sure that the Vikings will be looking at Jake Locker when they make their 12th pick this year, an idea that has been bandied about quite frequently this offseason. Instead, I want to run through the top 7 prospects and figure out just who is the best fit, in my mind, for the Vikings.According to Walter Football, the top 7 are:
Cam Newton, Auburn
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Locker from Washington
Christian Ponder, Florida State
Andy Dalton, TCU
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

This is a little tough, because unlike last year, Brad Childress is gone, so we can't work with what he wanted with a quarterback. If he was still in town, I would say the QB will be Kaepernick. Now, with Joe Webb in town already, there is no need for mobility, which is the strongest part of the game for Newton, Locker and Kaepernick. We can probably eliminate Gabbert as well, simply because he won't be around by the time it is the Viking's pick.
That leaves us with Ponder, Dalton and Mallett. The Vikings will operate a system in which they run first and pass second. A bg arm isn't a great need, especially when the top receiver will likely be Percy Harvin, with short passes being the primary airial threat. Mallett wouldn't really thrive in such a system.
That leaves us with Ponder and Dalton. Now, I think it comes down to what you want more. I think Ponder is an excellent game manager, while Dalton has a slightly stronger arm. They both played in offensive systems where the ground game was a major component of the game. I think either would be a decent fit in the Viking's system, but I am inclined to say that Ponder will be the better pro sometime down the road, but for me when picking between him and Dalton, it's more a gut instinct.
Also, I mean, it's Easter. How can I not pick the Christian?

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