The 2010 NFL Draft features a high-profile class of QB prospects, especially with Sam Bradford expected to be the 1st overall pick, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen universally expected to be a 1st round pick and then all the hype surrounding Tim Tebow.
QB talk has dominated the buildup to this year’s draft, but you wouldn’t know that by speaking with NFL personnel executives such as Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman.
“We don’t treat the quarterback position any different than we treat any other position,” Spielman said during a pre-draft press conference at Winter Park on Tuesday. “As we evaluate our draft board, I think the best approach to it is like you don’t have anyone on your roster, and you’re just going to go ahead, set your draft board, set the players how you see them, and pretend like you don’t have needs.”
In recent years, the Vikings have not drafted on the notion of the team’s ‘needs’ by position but rather by drafting the best available player. Case in point – the Vikings drafted RB Adrian Peterson in the 2007 draft following a career-best 1,216 rushing yards from Chester Taylor in 2006. Also, the WR position didn’t seem to be an immediate need last year but the Purple selected Florida’s Percy Harvin, resulting in Harvin receiving Rookie of the Year honors.
The best way to visualize the Vikings belief in drafting the best available player on the board is to look 2 or 3 years into the future. When it comes time for the Vikings to make a selection and they possibly choose what is believed to be not an immediate need, they are certainly looking down the road for what that player will contribute to the team in the future.
“We may think a year from now, two years from now, that that guy could maybe be a potential Pro Bowl player,” Spielman said when asked about drafting on a need basis. “And then you get into the debate a little bit, well, if you take a guy lesser on your board that could potentially fill a need this year, two years from now that guy might just be that same level of player where this guy you passed up is a potential Pro Bowler or in the Pro Bowl, then you look back two years and say, ‘Geez, we passed up a Pro Bowler to take an adequate player.’”
All things considered, it’s safe to say that when it comes time for the Vikings selection on Thursday night, don’t expect them to draft on a need basis, but rather select the best available player who they feel could either make an immediate impact or be a potential contributor down the road.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Rick Spielman
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