Leslie Frazier: Vikings need QB in draft

It’s no secret that the Vikings need a new quarterback. Brett Favre is retired. Tarvaris Jackson is a free agent. And Joe Webb, a guy who was drafted as a receiver, probably isn’t the long term answer.

However, many have speculated that the Vikings would prefer to address that need in free agency or through a trade. Just two years removed from the NFC Championship Game, the Vikings aren’t exactly in rebuilding mode. A veteran quarterback (McNabb? Kolb?) could easily lead them back to the playoffs.

In a recent interview with Pro Football Weekly, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier hinted that the Vikings may actually be targeting a quarterback in the draft.

When asked about the important of acquiring a star quarterback Frazier responded:

It’ll probably be just like it will be here in Minnesota, in this draft, to get that star quarterback.

Frazier continued, discussing some of the qualities he and his staff will look for in the Vikings future franchise quarterback:

[I would] like to find a guy of high character who has leadership abilities, a strong leader in that regard. A guy who is very competitive, who has a strong desire to win. Of course, he has to have the talent to be accurate with the football. The leadership and the character, along with the competitive spirit — I mean those are the key characteristics that you look for.

These comments are interesting for two reasons:

1) We’ve assumed for awhile that the Vikings would consider a quarterback in the draft, but we now have that confirmed.

2) His comments regarding leadership and a competitive nature make me wonder if the Vikings are team that could fall for someone like Jake Locker, much like the Broncos fell in love with Tim Tebow last year. Locker lacks 1st-round talent, but has potential, work ethic and leadership abilities. On the flip side, would they rule out Ryan Mallett for those same reasons? He’s more polished than Locker, but the perception is that he may lack the desire to be great, along with some other character concerns.

I currently have the Vikings selecting Mallett in my most recent mock draft. Mike Band has them passing on Mallett and taking Gabe Carimi instead.

At this point, both options are still realistic. Until they sit down with Mallett, even the Vikings won’t have a concrete opinion about his character concerns and how he may fit into their locker room. I suspect we’ll get a better idea as to which quarterback prospects they’re interested in after the combine when teams really begin the process of narrowing down their draft board.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Vikings 3 Comments

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Ryan McCrystal

Ryan launched DraftAce in 2004. His Top 100 board is currently ranked 1st out of 20 publications in The Huddle Report's five-year averages. His mock draft is ranked 10th out of 32 competitors.You can also find Ryan's weekly Heisman Predictor series on ESPN Insider every fall.