... and that's perfectly understandable because I'm talking about some pretty "outside the box" thinking here and it's an idea I've only come around to recently myself. The best way I can explain it is to point to a few different examples/situations that lead me to thinking this way.dead_poet wrote: This is an interesting topic that may deserve it's own thread. It's the offseason so I don't mind discussing the merits of such a strategy. However it will take me quite a bit of convincing that the team should use such a valuable resource on a first-round QB when we just drafted one the year before that is showing promise of being the long-term starter. I think there's probably a happy medium between doing that and drafting the John David Booty's of the world.
Right now I can't imagine bypassing, say, a top-tier receiver that you hope will start and be a producer for a long time for a guy you may be grooming to be a very good backup, if needed. Worst-case you "waste" a first-rounder on a guy that never throws a pass for you in five years (clearly thanks to Teddy's amazing progression as a top-10 QB and Favreian reputation that never misses a game...I'm speaking from my optimistic future here) and leaves via free agency. Though I suppose, Jim, you're rightfully QB gun-shy and not quite as optimistic about Teddy, which is fair. Therefore are you thinking the "best-case" could be that Teddy pulls an RGIII and either gets injured or takes a step back so it's good to have Mariota-insurance as a guy that can make important spot-starts or even surge ahead after he pulls a Tom Brady, entering for an injured Bridgewater and dominates? IF that were to come to fruition, then it'd look like incredible foresight on Rick's part.
I simply have a hard time breaking the conventional thinking that you draft a guy in the first round to not only start, but be an impact starter for a long time. There's the distinct possibility that you draft Mariota or Winston in the first round and they never play a snap for the duration of their five years. If I'm a GM, I just don't take that chance.
First, the last Vikings QB I was truly excited about was Daunte Culpepper and I saw him go from an arguably elite QB to a reclamation project on one play. His devastating injury was an eye-opener to me. It didn't literally end his career but it ended his career as a Viking and as an elite QB (I know opinions vary on that).
Since then, I've seen the Vikings invest their hopes for the future in QBs they've drafted, first with Jackson, then with Ponder and now with Bridgewater. The first two times, they basically did it without a safety net, putting all of their eggs into one basket. At the moment, that's the case with Bridgewater too. What I dislike about this approach is that there's no Plan B. It's boom or bust. If it works out, the team has their franchise QB. If not, it's back to the draft where they hope there's a great "QB of the future" prospect available that year and they hope they're in position (or can move into position) to select him. As a hypothetical GM, I want to throw out this approach. I think it's bad for business. It's exactly why the Vikings ended up pinning their hopes on Ponder for 3 years in the first place: they had no Plan B.
All of the above, from Culpepper's injury to the failed investments in young QBs have led me to believe a strong "Plan B" is essential. Added to that are situations like Brady stepping in to take over for Bledsoe and then becoming arguably the best QB of his generation, GB not passing up a proverbial "gift horse" when they had the opportunity to select Rodgers and ending up with another QB who could arguably be the best of his generation, Arizona having the best record in the league well into this season and having their season derailed because they didn't have a good enough backup QB, just like GB's was almost derailed last year, just like the Colts were in 2011 ... and so on.
I realize I'm talking about varying circumstances (Brady was drafted later, Favre was going to leave GB soon, etc.) but to me, the overwhelming message of today's NFL is that stability and quality at the QB position are essential to sustained success. I think a lot of people overemphasize the impact of the position and yet I still think it's essential if a team wants to be a perennial playoff contender. So, while I am a but gun-shy after Jackson and Ponder, and while I'm not quite as optimistic about Bridgewater as some fans are, this new outlook has very little do with Bridgewater and everything to do with what i perceive as the importance of the position. Teddy might be great but even if he's great, he could have a season end in a moment due to injury and sometimes it can take a year or two to truly recover from a bad injury. Some players never get back to what they were. Then there's the possibility that Teddy won't be great at all, that he'll be average or a little better than average.
To put it very simply: I want the Vikes to be prepared for Bridgewater to be lost or fail even while trying like crazy to help him stay healthy and succeed. I also don't want them to ever pass on the next Aaron Rodgers. I'm not saying Mariota is the next Rodgers. There's no way to tell who the next Rodgers will be but until their depth chart looks too good to consider it, any time a QB with serious talent and potential falls to the Vikings in the draft, I want them to think about applying the BPA philosophy and drafting him. Having depth and quality at QB has become crucial and in today's NFL, I'm surprised more teams aren't treating it that way. There are also always teams that need a Qb so having great depth at position also opens up trade possibilities that could pay draft day dividends down the road.
In my view, the only thing better than having Joe Montana as your starting QB is to have Joe Montana with Steve Young backing him up. If the Vikes become a contender and their starter goes down, I want them to look like a team that has shown the "incredible foresight" you mentioned above. However, I fully realize it doesn't necessarily require the investment of another first round pick to do that (or even a second or third rounder). I'm just at the point where I feel it would be worth a first round pick, even understanding that the player might never play a meaningful down.
It's not just you. I see it too.But, as I mentioned above, I think I do take a QB sooner rather than later. If Cardale Jones declares, maybe you take him in the 4th or Hundley a round earlier. Petty is interesting as well as a mid-round guy. Is it just me or is there more of a dropoff from the top two guys this year and everyone else?
Jones is an intriguing prospect. He's raw but poised (all things considered) and he has a serious arm with a genuine knack for throwing the deep ball. I'd happily invest a 4th round pick in him.
I know what you mean but the "switch" that's flipped in me is the one that considers great depth at that position a luxury. I'm now seeing it as a necessity. Logically, if QB is the most important position on the team (and there doesn't seem to be much dispute about that) then isn't that the position where you want the least possible drop in quality if you have to go from the starter to the backup? The luxury of a good backup can suddenly look like a necessity if that drop-off is too great.I know you're preaching depth, and I agree, but when you have so many holes for starters it's hard to want to spend a high draft pick on what could be perceived as potential "luxury insurance" rather than filling holes that are a necessity. It's certainly an interesting perspective and I look forward to further discussion on the topic.
I hope all of that made sense!