The biggest area to address this off-season is the quarterback position. Jeff, thank you for reminding me to talk about this topic. With Tarvaris Jackson likely not returning to the team; that only leaves us with one active quarterback on the roster, Joe Webb. Should the Vikings bring back Jackson? I say heck no! This guy has had opportunities with this club and has done nothing to impress the team or fans. That leaves us with Joe Webb, is he ready to take over the reigns? Last year Joe Webb had some great moments and showed us that he could be a good quarterback, down the road. He has great size and has showed off his legs. Defenses have to worry about Joe breaking off a big run. He has shown great arm strength and decent accuracy. But, can he be a leader? Webb came into games after Brett Favre was injured last season and did a decent job.
Will the Vikings draft a QB? Or will they trade for Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb? I think the Vikings will either draft a quarterback with their 12th overall pick or their second round pick. But, who will it be? Here is who I think could still be there at twelve:
QB: Cam Newton (Auburn)
Newton is a remarkable athlete with great legs and a very strong arm. He has a winning attitude, which the Vikings need. I'm not sure if he will still be on the board, but if he is I think the Vikings can't pass on this guy. He is exactly what we need at the quarterback position because of his leadership. The only downfall is that he might have to big of a head. Is he another Vince Young? I give Cam Newton an A- because he has a lot of upsides, but needs to be worth all the hype and that is tough to do at this level.
QB: Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)
Blaine is a very special player and could be either the biggest bust in this draft or one of the best quarterbacks taken in recent years. Is he ready for the pro league? He was a great college quarterback, but must learn a pro style offense; this is the biggest problem with Gabbert. He also has pretty poor footwork, which might be hard to correct at this level in his career. He is a very tall QB and has amazing arm strength and knows when to let his receivers go up and get the ball. He has the brains to read defenses and could be a very good quarterback in this league, some experts are saying he is a replica of Alex Smith. That does scare people and might drop to the Vikings at twelve. I would give Blaine Gabbert a B.
These are other possibilities after the first round:
QB: Jake Locker (Washington)
Locker has dropped according to experts; he has poor techniques and lacks accuracy. He probably isn't ready to start for the Vikings this year, he needs to develop into a NFL quarterback and prove that he can play at this level. Is he worth a pick in the second round? Probably, but the Vikings would have to acquire a veteran quarterback in the off-season to make Jake Locker a possibility, because he clearly isn't ready yet. I would give Jake Locker a C+.
QB: Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)
Colin was very impressive in the senior bowl and is an outstanding quarterback with raw talent. He has an outstanding arm and can scramble very well. Kaepernick is flying under the radar and might be the perfect quarterback for the Vikings to take in the second round. I really would be happy with this pick. He is a winner and a great individual. I would give Colin Kaepernick a B+.
QB: Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
This guy has many personality problems and could be a project. But, is a pretty decent quarterback if he learns how to become a leader rather than an issue. He is what experts would call a red flag, because of his character concerns. He could be the next Matt Leinart, a quarterback who gets a shot and chokes. I would stay away from Mallett, he doesn't have the skills needed to excel. I would give Ryan Mallett a D+.
QB: Andy Dalton (TCU)
Andy Dalton is probably my favorite quarterback for his value, he reminds me as a Peyton Manning type. Dalton is a very smart guy who can read defenses and studies almost as much tape as Peyton Manning. I love his arm accuracy and his size; he has decent arm strength and can move around the pocket very well. Andy is a winner and is a steal because most experts have him going in the late fourth or early fifth round. I think Andy Dalton is ready to play at this level this year and you can't say that about many quarterbacks in this draft. I would give Andy Dalton a B+.
Could the Vikings trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb? Yes, but is it worth it? The Eagles are looking for a first round and possibly a third round pick for Kolb. I don't think the Eagles will get that for him, but they could get a desperate team to give them a first round pick. Are the Vikings that desperate? I think they are, but I don't think they will give up that much for Kevin. I think if the Vikings do make a trade for him they would give up a second round pick this year and a second round pick next year. Is that too much? Who knows! We know Kevin Kolb isn’t a Manning or Brady. He could be like a Matt Schuab, someone who can win ball games. But, isn't going to put up crazy season number's like the elite quarterbacks.