The first offseason step in the laborious leadup to May’s NFL Draft is Senior Bowl week, which culminates this Saturday with the game that pits the NFL’s best prospects against each other in an all-star game of sorts.
The event not only gives teams a chance to see what players have on the field, but serves as an opportunity for teams to get to know prospective draftees off the gridiron as well.
The Vikings seem to be taking full advantage of the week in Alabama, as they’ve now met with four quarterbacks since arriving in Mobile.
According to the Star Tribune, the latest of those signal-callers is Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, who has made quite the impression on the Vikings and the entire NFL world in the last few weeks.
Garoppolo, a three-year starter for FCS (formerly Division I-AA) EIU, threw for over 5,000 yards this year, the only FCS quarterback to do so, and 53 touchdowns, second in the country.
Head coach Mike Zimmer was reportedly in on the meeting with Garoppolo, as was new quarterbacks coach Scott Turner.
Garoppolo is a projected early-round pick, and the only disclaimer for Vikings fans comes from recent history, as the last FCS quarterback the team drafted was a second-round pick from Alabama State, Travarias Jackson.
The other QBs Minnesota has met with are Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, and Fresno State’s Derek Carr, whom Garoppolo bested in practice Tuesday.
The Vikings currently have Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder under contract, though Ponder has expressed an interest to leave should he not get the chance to start in Minnesota next season.