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NFL Minnesota Vikings

2014 NFL Draft: 5 QBs the Minnesota Vikings Could Target

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5 QBs the Minnesota Vikings Could Use

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings need a new quarterback before the 2014 NFL season gets under way. A great way for them to address the position this offseason would be to select a young gunslinger during the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.

With the way their quarterback depth chart looks right now, it’s obvious that they can’t continue to settle for mediocrity. Christian Ponder was expected to be the quarterback of the future in Minnesota, but never quite panned out. Matt Cassel was brought in to be a quality backup, but was instead forced into a starting role. Even Josh Freeman was signed early during the 2013 season, but ended up becoming nothing more than a $3 million benchwarmer for GM Rick Spielman and Co.

Even though Cassel has shown some solid quarterbacking ability towards the end of the 2013 campaign, it’s time for the Vikings to invest another draft pick in the position. Let’s just hope it’s not as big of a waste as it was when they took Ponder with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Luckily for the Vikings, the 2014 class is a bit underrated, offering a number of starting-caliber quarterbacks capable of taking NFL teams to the next level. Even with Marcus Mariota staying in school, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger injured, and numerous other underclassmen still undecided, there’s plenty of intrigue available.

Here’s a quick look at five quarterback prospects who could be the next leader of the Vikings offense.

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Brett Hundley, UCLA

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Once considered a first-round prospect, Hundley has since slid down many draft boards due to late-season struggles. Those struggles could end up convincing him to return to school in 2014, but he’ll be an intriguing option if he opts to enter the draft this year. Hundley has the size and arm strength to make it in the NFL, but needs major work on his decision making and poise in the pocket before he can take full advantage of his natural talent.

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Blake Bortles, UCF

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Arguably the 2014 quarterback class’ fastest riser, Bortles has suddenly gone from a little-known prospect to a likely first-round pick – if he opts to declare for the draft. With outstanding athleticism, a big arm and the type of pocket poise you rarely see from a college quarterback, there’s plenty to like about the Golden Knights’ gunslinger. If the Vikings decide to get their new man under center in the first round, Bortles might just be an option.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

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The most exciting small-school quarterback headed for the NFL, Garoppolo has taken the draft world by storm over the last few months. With outstanding athleticism, a knack for making big plays and the arm to make any throw, it’s easy to see why Garoppolo is on just about every quarterback-needy team’s radar. If the Vikings opt not to grab a gunslinger in the first round, they might have an opportunity to pick this FCS stud on Day 2.

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Adam Kennedy, Arkansas State

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One of the deepest sleepers in the 2014 quarterback class, Kennedy has all of the tools to be an NFL quarterback. He has the size, arm strength and pocket awareness you look for in a pro passer, and possesses sneaky athleticism. While it’s unlikely he comes off the board until Day 3, the Vikings could choose to scoop up the Arkansas State product if they miss out on the other quarterbacks they like in the early rounds.

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David Fales, San Jose State

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A very accurate passer the media continues to overlook, Fales should see his stock rise even more as May’s draft draws closer. His arm is capable of making all of the NFL throws, and he possesses the athleticism to make plays outside of the pocket. While there are some concerns about his throwing motion and overconfidence when throwing into tight windows, there’s no doubt he’s an NFL-caliber quarterback. If the Vikings are lucky, they can get him at the top of the second round.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.