Coming into draft night, the Minnesota Vikings certainly had several needs to address. They may have taken care of a big one by drafting LB Anthony Barr out of UCLA. Barr is raw, but in new coach Mike Zimmer‘s defense, he could also bring an outstanding pass rush presence to replace departed DE Jared Allen.
Of course, the Vikings also have one flaw that isn’t easily fixed in today’s NFL – they don’t have a locked in starter at the QB position. Christian Ponder basically played his way out of a job, the Josh Freeman experiment in 2013 was a complete bust, and it certainly appears that Matt Cassel is in line to be the team’s starter when they head into training camp.
With only two signal callers on the roster right now, there’s no doubt that the Vikings absolutely must bring in a passer, even if he’s just going to sit and learn from Cassel for a while. But when they got beat to the Johnny Manziel pick by the Cleveland Browns, things got a little ugly.
According to Jay Glazer on Twitter, the Vikings thought they had a deal worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 22nd pick, and were likely going to take Manziel. Unfortunately, the Browns — who the Vikings had traded with earlier in the night prior to drafting Barr — came in late with a better offer, and Manziel was gone.
The Vikings still have some picks to work with, including the eighth selection of the second round, but it’s clear that they had a big gap between Manziel and players like Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr on their draft board. If that’s the case, then they missed a huge opportunity by not taking Manziel when they had the chance at No. 8, and that could come back to haunt them.
Stay tuned as the draft rolls on to see if the Vikings can make some moves.