Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman spent much of the late morning and early afternoon in the media center meeting with reporters, appearing on radio shows and speaking at the podium. He addressed a number of topics and we’ll try to touch on a few of them right here on the vikings.com Blog throughout the next day or so.
We’ll start with a hot-button topic for the Vikings this offseason – the QB position. Many of the questions Spielman fielded were QB-related and he did a good job of speaking in general terms about the topic without giving away any specific opinions on players or strategies the Vikings have with regard to addressing the position.
Spielman said he feels this is a strong QB draft class that is deep not just in the 1st round but also in later rounds. He was also asked about the difficulty in evaluating QBs who didn’t play in “pro style” offenses in colleges. One example is the QB who many regard as the best in this year’s class – Blaine Gabbert. He took most of his snaps in college from the gun formation. Another example is Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, who played in the “pistol” offense in college.
“What happens with a lot of these guys,” Spielman explained, “just knowing the agents these guys have, is after their season they go to these training centers and they start taking snaps under center, they’re working on drops (drop backs), they hire ex-coaches and things like that to work with these kids. By the time they get to your facility, it’s not the first time they’ve taken a snap.”
Another factor to consider is the learning curve college QBs face when entering the NFL. Whether a QB was in a pro style offense or not in college, he has a lot to learn at the NFL level. Let’s look at 2 examples from last year’s draft in Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy. It was Clausen who came from a “pro style” offense in college and McCoy who came from a spread attack. Yet by most accounts, McCoy had the better rookie season. Neither player was anything to write home about, but McCoy fared a touch better than Clausen despite not coming from a supposed pro style offense.
Ultimately, though, the question is “How will the Vikings address the QB position this offseason.” Only time will tell that answer, but clearly the Vikings are committed to addressing the issue.
“We’re going to look at all avenues when it comes to quarterback,” Spielman said. “Whether it’s a trade, whether it’s a UFA (unrestricted free agent), whether it’s the draft or whether it’s Joe Webb. We’re excited about what Joe Webb brings to the table, too.”
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Joe Webb, Rick Spielman
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