2014 NFL Draft: 5 Quarterback Options for the Minnesota Vikings

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5 QBs Who Can Help the Minnesota Vikings

Hundley
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With the way the 2013 season is going for the Minnesota Vikings, they could easily have a Top 5 pick in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. That could be the perfect opportunity for them to find their quarterback of the future, especially in a draft class loaded with first-round talent at the position.

Some of you might be wondering, though, why it is that the Vikings need a quarterback. Did you watch their Week 7 loss to the New York Giants? If so, then there shouldn’t be any sort of confusion.

The Vikings have clearly given up on Christian Ponder as their franchise quarterback, and Matt Cassel obviously isn’t the answer either. Josh Freeman was signed to be the starter moving forward, but after his horrid performance against the G-Men on Monday night, there’s no reason to believe he’s a long-term solution. They’ll likely give Freeman the rest of the season to prove himself, but the early signs inspired zero confidence in the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter.

With that in mind, the Vikings need a new passer – and the 2014 class offers plenty of capable ones. Especially at the top of the first round, there could be as many as four starting-caliber quarterbacks available when the 2014 NFL Draft finally gets under way.

So here it is. A look at five quarterback prospects who could be on the Vikings’ radar when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around. Some are early-round options, while a couple could catch Minnesota’s attention on Day 2 or Day 3.

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Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

Thomas
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Thomas definitely wouldn’t be a top option for the Vikings, but he’s a mid-round talent who would likely be available in the third if they chose to go in a different direction early on. A big, thick quarterback with surprising athleticism, Thomas was considered one of the top quarterback prospects heading into 2012 before a rough junior season brought him back to Earth. Still, he’s a physical presence in the pocket with excellent arm strength. If he can improve on his accuracy, there’s starter potential in Thomas.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

Garoppolo
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A little-known small-school quarterback who has been highly productive over the last two seasons, Garoppolo is quietly working his way up draft boards and could emerge as a top prospect by the time draft day arrives. He has already dominated the FCS’ top competition while racking up ridiculous numbers – he’s on pace to throw over 56 touchdowns. Combined with his tremendous leadership and football IQ, Garoppolo could be an intriguing option for the Vikings in the early rounds.

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Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Boyd
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Possessing many similarities to former Vikings gunslinger Daunte Culpepper, Boyd could be an ideal candidate to fill the future void they have at quarterback. With impressive athleticism, outstanding arm strength and plenty of production, there’s not much more the Vikings could want in a quarterback. Boyd’s decision-making is a concern moving forward, but some extra coaching could work out what few kinks remain in the promising package that the Clemson passer has developed into.

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Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Mariota
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This is a bit of a wild card option, but you have to admit that it’s an intriguing one. If Mariota is available when the Vikings are on the board in May, there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll consider picking the Oregon product. On top of being a dynamic runner, Mariota has proven to be a capable passer in 2013 and is quickly working his way to the top of the 2014 quarterback rankings. If he continues to trend upward, there’s a real chance he lands with the Vikings at the top of the first round.

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Brett Hundley, UCLA

Hundley
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his standing as a sophomore – and second-year starter – Hundley is one of the most promising passers eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. With a big frame that oozes athleticism, he’s a star in the making who has all of the tools to be dominant at the next level. Experience and turnovers – 11 fumbles last season – are going to be a concern moving forward, but his toughness, leadership and overall skill set will be too much for a team like the Vikings to pass on if he chooses to declare.


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