The Minnesota Vikings need to find a quarterback of the future at some point in this year’s draft, but the re-signing of Matt Cassel makes taking a defensive player a possibility with the eighth overall pick while waiting until the second round or later to select a signal caller. That would mean missing out on one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class (Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, etc.) but that may not be a bad thing with plenty of other viable options at the position.
Tony Pauline of Draft Insider.net has reported the Vikings have interest in LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who had a solid 2013 season (3,082 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions) with former NFL head coach and coordinator Cam Cameron in place as offensive coordinator for the Tigers. He suffered a torn left ACL against Arkansas in the regular season finale, which obviously hasn’t helped his draft stock, but Mettenberger has progressed far enough in his rehab to participate in LSU’s Pro Day on Wednesday.
The Vikings are slated to meet privately with Mettenberger later on Wednesday, which further confirms their interest in him. His main strengths are size (6’5″, 230 lbs.) and arm strength, which has him being widely hyped as a good fit for the vertical passing offense Vikings’ offensive coordinator Norv Turner favors. Mettenberger will be in an environment where he’ll be set up to succeed on Wednesday, but if he looks good just over three months removed from knee surgery plenty of teams will have their eye on him as a second day pick.
Even if he is not 100 percent healthy until a few weeks into the 2014 season, Mettenberger would not have to start immediately in Minnesota with Cassel in place. If he is the top available quarterback on their draft board when their second-round pick (40th overall) comes, presumably with strong input from Turner and a positive medical evaluation, I’m in favor of Mettenberger being drafted as the Vikings’ potential quarterback of the future if they pass on the position in the first round.