For the second time this month, Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said he won't draft a quarterback with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft if he's not the best player available.
"That [quarterback] decision is always going to fall on me," You need to keep turning the wheel until you find one you hit on. Are we going to force a quarterback at No. 8? We're going to take the best player," Spielman said during his press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. "I'd love to move down from the draft at No. 8."
And unless he feels someone like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater or Central Florida's Blake Bortles is the best player on the board, he could choose to wait on drafting a quarterback. But who is the best quarterback?
"I do believe it's a deep draft class," Spielman said. "I don't think there's a clear cut No. 1 quarterback."
That might be the reason behind Spielman's apparent hope to trade the No. 8 pick to move down in the draft while acquiring more picks.
"I would love to move down in the draft, just because of how deep this draft class is," he said, via Yahoo Sports. "But if we feel that strongly about a guy at No. 8, we'll take him."
If they don't take a quarterback at No. 8 or trade down for one later, they could use their second-round pick (No. 40 overall) to trade for Washington Kirk Cousins or New England's Ryan Mallett. ESPN's Ben Goessling says it's an option they should explore. Or, they could simply try to bring Matt Cassel back. The veteran QB opted-out of the final year of his deal, but his representatives will meet with the Vikings sometime this week, according to the Star Tribune.
Vikings.com reporter Mike Wobschall has a list of five takeaways from Spielman's press conference, including his admiration for new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's ability to revive quarterbacks – something he might have to do with Christian Ponder.
Meanwhile, Spielman said the first thing Turner did when he was hired was creating 10 plays designed specifically for wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. According to Pro Football Talk, Spielman believes Patterson will "thrive under Norv."
KFAN's Paul Allen and Paul Charchian were at the NFL Combine and they chatted with Spielman for 30 minutes. Listen to that right here and here. They also talked about Minnesota's approach to fixing the quarterback position with Mike Florio.