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You Can’t Pick Perfect, Just Pick Right

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 25, 2011 – 8:03 am

Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallett, Ponder, Dalton, Kaepernick and Stanzi. Those are the 8 names that comprise this year’s class of QBs with potential to earn a starting job as soon as the 2011 season. Some have strong arms. Others are great decision makers. And a few are natural leaders.

But there’s just one thing each of them has in common: they all have legitimate question marks.

Most draft analysts have gone on record this year as saying they’re not sure this year’s draft class has a bona fide franchise QB to offer, which is a bit disappointing given the unusually high amount of teams that find themselves in need of a QB, the Vikings included. Often times, you’ll hear a draft analyst offer up names such as Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan in comparison to this year’s crop of QBs to hammer home the point that this year’s draft class is void of a blue-chip prospect.

But is that fair? Is it fair to compare players who haven’t had the chance to prove themselves at the NFL level to 3 recent QBs who’ve found success in the NFL? At least one analyst, former Vikings offensive coordinator and Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick, says it’s not.

Billick was quoted as part of an article about this year’s draft-eligible QBs written by Judd Zulgad in this Sunday’s sports section of the Star Tribune and he made a point that I think is important to keep in mind when both analyzing this year’s crop of QBs in the draft and in critiquing teams’ choices in this year’s draft.

“Let’s be careful,” Billick said. “When we go back and talk about [St. Louis' Sam] Bradford and Ryan and Flacco with such glowing terms — and we should, because they are going to be excellent quarterbacks — we had concerns for them, too. Bradford, is he going to stay healthy? Matt Ryan, does he have the arm strength? Flacco, he doesn’t look like anybody we have in the league right now. Is he too big, is he going to fit? They turned out well, but we had questions about them, too.

Billick’s point is a great one. And I’ll add to it. Drafting a QB in the NFL is not an exact science. If it was, we wouldn’t see so many busts. There is no perfect prospect, at any position. There is no prospect with no flaws and no question marks. Regardless of which QB you like in this class, someone else can raise questions about that player or about that player’s skill set.

I like Jake Locker, but someone else can question his accuracy. The next guy might like Blaine Gabbert, but I can point out that he’s coming from a spread offense and may have issues transitioning to the pro game and playing under center.

“So when I say that there’s questions about these guys … everybody has [questions] every year,” Billick said. “We kind of forget after a kid gets in the league and plays well and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I had him really high. I knew he’d be good.’ No, you didn’t. We had some questions about all of them.”

The bottom line is that regardless of whom the Vikings select in this year’s draft – even if it’s not a QB, which could happen – some people are going to love the pick and others are going to dislike the selection. But the goal is not to find the perfect prospect with no flaws. The goal is to pick a player who turns out to be a winner.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 47 Comments »


47 Responses to “You Can’t Pick Perfect, Just Pick Right”

  1. By dave on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    i think to get prince

  2. By Mike B on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s an article from USA today on Joe Webb.
    According to Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities, the Vikings are still not sold on Joe Webb’s future at quarterback.

    Webb makes for an intriguing backup with developmental potential, but the Vikes plan to get him on the field “in a Wildcat formation, at receiver, on returns or otherwise.” The Vikes realize Webb is “just too gifted to hold a clipboard,” but he has “a long way to go to master the consistency, accuracy and volume needed to succeed” as a NFL starting QB. Even if he competes for the starting job this summer, he’s a poor bet to hold it for more than a few games.

    It’s almost verbatim of what I have been saying all along. Hmmmm

  3. By JakeReed on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Lets draft a qb if he is a bust we have next year to draft another prospect, sick of these old leftovers we need a new youth at the qb spot, no more bubby bristers, frerotes, holcombs, jeff george. We’ve been chewing on teams leftover chicken bones for the past decade lets just draft one we can call our own. Sorry for the poor grammar too lazy to spell check just want to type fast and post.

  4. By geiber on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Mallet or Locker is what the Vikings need I believe!

  5. By DRS on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Draft for the future QB, acquirer by free agency a QB of today. #1 need a new stadium, then line man who can get the job done. If there is going to be a season this year, get the needs satisfied now; after all the NFL strife is between millionaires and billionaires. Where does the average fan fit in?

  6. By DRS on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Have to go, God bless U-All.

  7. By Daniel on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    We just do not need a bad pick. Looking back at our previous picks that were homeruns. Adrian was a solid pick because he was ranked as high as Bo Jackson. I watch him play, and there was nobody as good as him in the ncaa. Percy Harvin. I remember watching the guy, knowing, someone is going to knock it out of the park with his ability.
    Now who can we say those things about with this years QB crop? I remember the Hype of Ryan. That guy had IT. Bradford, He had IT. Stafford? I feel he fell into that bracket.
    Now, Jamarcus Russel? Did he have the talent? His arm was like nothing the NFL had seen. Alex Smith? both of whom, should have come in and take over.
    Here is our problem. Is “the Guy” there? if so, Where is the hype? All are Half and Half. Some good leaders, some stong arms, some great runners, some smart, some tall, some short. But where is the hype? Not only that but even If we had the chance to get “THE GUY”, is our line set for him to GROW with? Do we have the right recievers?
    Look. Green Bay has it figured out. They let Rodgers sit and learn, they gave him a great reciever core, and his line is just awsome.
    All I am saying is we have very correctable flaws to compete. Our schedule looks good, and our chances in free agency looks great. If they do not pick a QB this year, I will be fine with that, knowing next years crop has the hype in the QB area. There is good vets in freeagentcy. But If we do pick a QB this year, I just hope the organization did thier homework. Because when the cloud looms over Minn, it’s a dark one, and the fans can turn fast.

  8. By 8 foot on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Why draft a QB with our first rounder when we dont know when the season is going to star. If the QB dont get to practice with his team in mini camps etc. were basicaly taking a chance on a guys going to stay in shape with all the other issues. To much risk. We have glaring needs at oline secondary and de. Then next year we take our qb of the furture at least he would of played in college for a year while all these qbs are sitting around waiting to play.

  9. By Sean on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    i agree with 8 foot let’s wait a year and draft matt barkley

  10. By Purple pride man on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    I say take Mallett at 12 and trade down the 2nd round pick and pick up a 3rd rounder. We did that last year. Franchise QB is too important. Need some one who can throw the ball a mile and accurately in small windows. Mallett can do that. he seems like a good guy. Frazer and Bill will do great with him. Take a chance vikings!

  11. By Nick on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    @Purple Pride Man, I couldn’t have put it better myself!

  12. By Frederick Jones on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Michael Vick couldn’t stay health behind our current offensive line.

    Oh Well, draft another QB ! ! !

  13. By vikingintexas on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    The future is now ! The team is full of vets. I’m from Texas. Still live in Tx. (my son lives here, are I’d live in the north) Was a diehard Oilers fan; but the Vikings were my NFC team. Bled purple since the Oilers moved. Go to more Vikings games than most that live in the state ! — Like a lot of Texans, play, coach, and love football. This draft is a big one for the Vikes ! GOOD MOVES, a force in the NFC for years to come ! — BAD MOVES, & the Vikings and us as fans get to enjoy being a ” good week ” for teams on their way to the playoffs ! — Knowing football more than most; and with an I.Q. of 117. — If I had the ears of the, “powers that be” this would be input : 1) Signing in place for vet. QB (my pick, Carson if possible) —2) If trade down looks good take it, if not OL 1st pick. — 3) QB 2nd rd. hope Ponder is still there, he or Webb will be ready when vet. is gone. — 4) later picks : fill needs, best @ pick, etc… — Zig is a good owner, with all thats on the table for the next few years, the Vikings need to win now ! AND THEY CAN WITH THE RIGHT MOVES

  14. By QB Need on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    I say we draft like this …

    Round 1 … Ryan Mallet
    Round 2 … Andy Dalton
    Round 4 … Pat Devlin
    Round 5 … Ricky Stanzi
    Round 6 … Greg McElroy

    Sign McNabb in Free Agency and go to training camp with 7 qbs …..

  15. By Parody on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Forget that, 7 QBs isn’t nearly enough! Remember, we only need starters for 23 other positions on the team, and with a 53-man roster that leaves us room for 30 QBs! That’s all that matters, right? Greater number of QBs is equvalent to a proportionately greater chance at winning?

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell the jokers apart from the idiots…

  16. By NotGreatFootballMind on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Other then QB, our secondary should be priority in this draft. We have youth & talent to fill voids in the D-Line (we need to add depth in the later rounds). The O-Line kills me!!! 1st we need an O-Line coach who can “COACH”~ Can We Clone Jerry Kill?. There is no way that BIG.BABY.BRYANT – LOAD.OF.WHAT.HOLT – HUTCH.IS.NOT.CLUTCHINSON – WHERES.HERRERA & SILLYMAN can’t get it done!!! Even Ziggy should be able to rush for 50+ per game behind these guys and if the QB is getting killed then he must not be very well liked.

  17. By PAUL M. on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    PLEASE VIKINGS FRONT OFFICE: DO NOT DRAFT LOCKER!! HE’S TOO RISKY A PROJECT FOR SUCH A VALUABLE PICK, AND I WANT US TO STRIKE CERTIFIED GOLD AT #12!!! WE MUST DRAFT OUR QB OF THE FUTURE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS – INTELLIGENCE, ACCURACY & DECENT CHARACTER — BECAUSE “IF THEY AIN’T GOT IT BY NOW – WELL, THAT JUST “AIN’T GOOD ENOUGH” FOR THE #12 PICK.

    EITHER TRADE UP IN THE DRAFT FOR GABBERT, OR DRAFT A BLUE CHIP VERSATILE O-LINEMAN WORTHY OF THE PICK, OR POSSIBLY, PRINCE AMUKAMARA OR JULIO JONES. THESE OUR OUR 3 IMMEDIATE GAPING NEEDS !

    IN TODAY’S NFL, TEAMS LIKE GREEN BAY & CHICAGO WILL BE LINING UP WITH 4 OR 5 RECEIVERS & SPREADING OUT OUR DEFENSE — WE NEED CB’s – OR ROGERS, CUTLER & STAFFORD WILL BE FIST PUMPING IN OUR STADIUM.

    I LOVE PERCY & “SHANK”, BUT IF SIDNEY GOES, WHO OUT THERE ACTUALLY HAS FAITH IN THE ELITE RECEIVING ABILITIES OF BASKET OR BERRIAN? ADRIAN WILL BE FACING 8 MAN FRONTS ALL SEASON!

    DITTO FOR OUR O-LINE WHICH ALMOST SENT BRETT TO THE MORGUE LAST YEAR! OUR O-LINE IS OUR OFFENSE’S VIKING SHIELD, AND IT MUST BE STRENGTHENED THRU THE DRAFT. GOOD NEWS HERE IS THE DRAFT IS DEEP & YOU CAN GET GOOD OL PLAYERS EVEN IN MIDDLE ROUNDS.

    THEN GO FOR PONDER / DALTON IF AVAILABLE — OR THE HIGHEST RATED PLAYER ON THE BOARD.

    IT MAY JUST PROVE TO BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE FOR US IF THERE ARE NO FREE AGENCY SIGNINGS BEFORE THE DRAFT. WHEN IT COMES TIME TO DEAL, THOSE FREE AGENTS MAY LOSE A LOT OF VALUE BECAUSE MANY TEAMS WERE FORCED TO DRAFT THOSE POSITIONS.
    THAT SHOULD LEAVE MANY VERY GOOD FREE AGENTS AGGRESSIVELY COMPETING WITH EACH OTHER FOR A GOOD TEAM TO PLAY ON.

    AGGRESSIVELY GO AFTER A TOP FREE AGENT QB WHO CAN “POTTY TRAIN” A ROOKIE ALONG W/ WEBB — WE NEED MORE QB’s — ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. WE CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY QB’s. TEAMS HAVE ALWAYS GOTTEN THEIR $$$ & DRAFT PICKS / INVESTMENTS BACK BECAUSE OTHER TEAMS WILL ALWAYS BE DESPERATE FOR A GOOD YOUNG QB.

    BREAKING NEWS: LOCKOUT TEMP. LIFTED!! IMMEDIATELY SIGN SIDNEY & TRY FOR RAY EDWARDS, ETC. WITH THE DRAFT DEEP IN DL, RAY MAY LOSE SOME VALUE IF TEAMS WHICH WOULD HAVE BID ON HIM ARE FORCED TO DRAFT THE POSITION.

  18. By PAUL M. on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    PS: IF JAKE LOCKER WAS 50% ACCURACY IN COLLEGE, WHAT DO YOU THINK HIS ACCURACY % WILL BE IN THE PRO’s?

  19. By lui on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    go get Titus Young and QB Stanzi

  20. By PAUL M. on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    PPS: DOES ANYBODY IN HERE ACTUALLY THINK THAT I’M ANY SMARTER OR THAT MY ARGUMENTS ARE ANY MORE CONVINCING BECUZ I’M TYPING IN ALL CAPS?

    NO? YOU ALL THINK THAT MAKES ME 500 TIMES MORE STUPIDER?

    THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. NO WORRIES. I MALWAYS NEW SOME WHERE IN THE BACK OF MY MIND THAT I WAS A DUMDUM ANYWAY.

  21. By paul on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Take the best player available with the 1st. pick, after that draft for need…

  22. By Skol_Vikes on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    I’m going to get slaughtered …. and I mean SLAUGHTERED for saying this…. but I don’t like the draft board for QB’s this year. I know Vikes fans are tired of old QB’s, but we HAVE drafted QB’s in the last 10-15 years (COUGH** BRAD JOHNSON…. COUGH COUGH Daunte Culpepper (whom we even groomed, but let Mike Tice ruin) …. COUGH COUGH T-Jack) , Brad Johnson getting the special honor of being drafted, then released, then winning a super bowl elsewhere, then becoming the old guy QB for the Vikings….. I mean come on, do we really want another T-Jack or Cullpepper? T-Jack, if he could have stayed healthy, may have been able to keep the ship afloat for a few years while Webb or some other project gets groomed. Webb needs another on the sideline, training and preparing. Look at last years class “WHY DIDNT WE TAKE COLT MCCOY??….” Yeah, that’s working out sooooo well. Or Jimmy Claussen, can we say bust in the making? Don’t get too excited. We have other needs at this point in time.

  23. By Skol_Vikes on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    To Paul — the caps is annoying to read after a while.

  24. By Purple pride man on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Next years crop of Qb’s look worse then this years except for Luck(which there is no way we are going to get, we are not going to be the worst team in the league) If we don’t take the best available QB in Mallett or Locker we are going to be in the same spot for the next few years. Mallett has top 5 talent and is projected lowered with the media believing he is a drug addict etc etc, which he isn’t. just media over reaction. Mallett has the arm and smarts to be a fantastic QB. If we don’t take Mallett Locker or Gabbert and take a Lineman first pick, We are basically just throwing this draft away. I hope this coaching staff can see how important it is to address this now!!

  25. By QB FEVER on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    If the Vikings stay true to their word and pick the best player Available. Ryan Mallett will be in PURPLE next year. :) :) :) :) :)

  26. By DraftMallett on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think we need to draft mallett, having to deal with cutler, rodger, and stafford we need our own qb.

  27. By Thomas Firle on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Vikings head personel? Draft experts.
    Please draft Andy Dalton from TCU He is 42 and 7 a four year starter! Draft him please?

  28. By Titus on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Parody, that is funny. 30 quarterbacks, but make sure they are good receivers and can all run too, so they can move the ball, passing to each other as they run down field– what a sight! A whole new strategy.

  29. By Titus on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Mike W– I am looking at your opening sentence to this article and wondering how you chose the order to list these names. A good writer leaves nothing to chance. I can tell you several options how to list them, but remember every choice in writing should be able to be defended. When people question my word choice or the organization of my writing, I can clearly articulate those choices. Some on here may scoff, but listing those names as you did implies certain conclusions.

  30. By Titus on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallett, Ponder, Dalton, Kaepernick and Stanzi.

    Obviously it was not done alphabetically, which would be a standard, non-hierarchical listing, probably AP approved.

  31. By MALLETT on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Trade down and take Mallett in the first, then take Rahim Moore in the second. Take DJ Williams in the fourth, and fifth can be used on an interior lineman. Next year we can get our future tackle to take over for Mckinnie.

  32. By Parody on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    @Titus – Well I’d make sure that a few of them know how to block and tackle too. You can never trust that all of your starters will go injury free, so someone has to step into their place now and then. I’m sure we could get some good production out of Greg McElroy at DT and Marc Bulger can fill in great at LT when needed.

  33. By Frederick Jones on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    It’s almost as if I am trying to convince atheists to become Ch ri sti ans.

    We all love that guy who can complete 300 out of 450 for 4,007 yards, 32 tds, and only 8 interceptions.

    The reality is that no man climbs a mountain alone. He needs help.

  34. By Frederick Jones on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    If I can whip a football to the moon, it does no good, if I am on the bench with a broken bone. (or did you think that Favre could have avoided those injuries???)

  35. By Frederick Jones on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hear me now, and believe me later:

    Draft Offensive Linemen high this year.

    :) :) :) :) :)

  36. By Frederick Jones on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    @Skol_Vikes,

    Perhaps you didn’t SEE Daunte Culpepper shred his knee during a game his last year with the Vikings.

    His career was ruined by a very serious knee injury.

  37. By no1vikingsfan on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    @ QB Need! seriously! if we can pick up Rick Stanzi with our 5th round pick I would call it good, because you won’t get a better 5th round selection and use our higher picks for the Vikes other needs, Stanzi will not drop in to the 5th round, but it sure would be nice if he did, what a steal that would be.

  38. By Mike Wobschall on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Titus – You’re right, that list of names is a product of a conclusion. It’s my conclusion that the list you referenced is the order in which those QBs will be drafted. This is a blog, so there are some journalistic standards or principles that can be altered or even ignored compared to a piece we would put in the headlines section.

    Thanks.

  39. By Grunting Viking Warror. on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Me thinks Titus just got put to shame!!!!!!
    Fire the cannons!!!!!!Kill the Fatted calf!!!!!! Blow the horns!!!!
    Thats one small step for man…..one giant leap for mankind!!!!!!!!

  40. By Parody on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    I disagree Grunting Viking. I think that Mike is admitting his fault, but trying to convince himself that he doesn’t need to worry about it. Mike’s message is saying that he has the right to break the rules that he’s paid to follow, under circümstances that he can choose from. It’s like when you’re driving, there’s no cops around and that one annoying stop sign in the middle of nowhere is coming up. You want to save yourself the 5-seconds that it would add to the trip to stop and then get back up to speed, so you just run it. Sounds innocent enough right? Let’s only follow the laws that we agree with.

    If nothing else, Mike’s saying that he believes that messages read by those of us who are the most engaged fans of the team deserve less effort from him than something that will be seen and quickly skimmed over by the massès who are just looking for something to clear their minds during a coffee break.

  41. By Daniel on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Me still is laughing and shooting my crossbow in the sky.
    So, Parody, save your parables and yoda analogies for meet the press or the next star wars revival.

  42. By Parody on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    @ Daniel – From where in my writing, these Yoda similarities do you get? Hmmm?

    In all honesty, if the parables and analogies that I use in my writing annoy you, maybe it’s because you don’t want to admit how much you agree with the arguments that they present.

    You’ll have to fogive me if they do bug you, whatever the reason. I’m not in the mood to get into an arguing match over it anyhow. They’re just my way of writing with the intent of making my points as clearly as I can. I’m not about to change that simply because some people express that it somehow offends them.

  43. By Anthony on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Enough with all of this QB talk. Without falling into the pit of “Will Joe Webb be a great QB or not” lets look at our team. We have arguably the best HB in the NFL. We owe it to ourselves to get this guy some quality blocking. We need Offensive Line… and probably more than one. We have also had some issues with our DB’s. Seems like a great year for a DB. Also our D-line needs help, specifically DE. Depth at Linebacker is a bit of an issue as well. All of this talk of a QB ignores some of the major problems with our team. Not to mention, after giving up a 3rd round pick for Moss, can we really afford an early round bust at a position that is famous for busts?

  44. By Daniel on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Well, Parody, not to tick you off or anything, but fans are fans and it does not matter if caps are on or how the writing is or miss spelling. For all you great intelectual giants know, you could be making fun of a 13 year old fan or even younger and stealing thier fire for the team. Just because you have the ability to point out someones mistakes (Titus), is not in anyway respectfull or decent.

  45. By Parody on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Daniel – Let’s try to stay within the context of the conversation. I was commenting on a complaint that was made about Mike Wobschall, the moderator of this website. He is definitely no 13-year old fan. He is paid to report and write professionally.

    For the fans who come in here to comment, I try to refrain from pointing out their errors because I have no justfiable basis to hold them to the same standards. However, I think it’s still fair to ask for some courtesies from everybody, such as not posting all caps messages, and not reposting the same message over and over again at nauseum.

  46. By joshK on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    Amakamura 1st round or trade back and get OL/2nd round R. Moore. sign sidney rice and Marc Bulger or Mcnabb.

  47. By joshK on Apr 26, 2011 | Reply

    haha titus 0 – mike 1

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