Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws the ball pressured by Duke Blue Devils linebacker Kelby Brown (59) during the second quarter in the 2013 Chick-fil-a Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings #8 NFL Draft Pick: Who Would I Take?


My rundown through the entire first round of the NFL draft continues as I examine the Minnesota Vikings who hold the #8 pick in the first round.

The Pick:  Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M

Due to the previous pick by TampaBay, Johnny Manziel is the only quarterback with a first round grade left on the board.  He has his issues either with questions about his height (6’0″) or attitude but the facts remain that he is probably the most natural playmaker at that position in the 2014 class.  He has huge hands, terrific mobility and a better arm than people think.  If he can improve his pocket presence, which is the biggest knock on him, then he could become the next Russell Wilson for whoever takes him.

Why:  Mike Zimmer needs a playmaker at that position

The Minnesota Vikings were a mess at quarterback last season.  Three different players including Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman all started at least one game for them.  That can’t continue if the team wishes to reverse their fortunes.  New head coach Mike Zimmer came in as a former defensive coordinator, which means it would be best for him to go get his quarterback as soon as possible to he can start rebuilding one of the worst defenses in the league.  Manziel is the kind of player that would function well under Zimmer.  He’s excellent at making plays with his feet, moving the chains and keeping the defense off the field.

Argument:  Anthony Barr and Kony Ealy are still available

In all honesty the Minnesota Vikings front office is in a pickel here.  A lot of fans are really hoping the team trades down here, which is not out of the question but that would be difficult given their position.  At the same time, their needs on defense are equally prevalent.  The pass rush is a primary issue.  UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy are both still on the board.  Zimmer has a history of running both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, so he would have a good understanding of how to get the most out of either player.  Barr is the more natural linebacker who can move around and attack from different directions while Ealy is that consistent edge rusher who forces teams to focus on him.

Counter-argument:  Manziel too valuable and NFL free agency can fix rush

It’s a compelling case but the fact is the Minnesota Vikings won’t have a better chance to add somebody who is better than the cast of quarterbacks they already have.  Johnny Manziel is better than all of them.  His natural instinct and athleticism, not to mention underrated leadership are top notch.  Besides, the Vikings have a rather large sum of cap space heading into free agency.  They could solve their pass rush problem even before they reach the NFL draft.

That is why I would take Johnny Manziel if I were in charge.  What are your thoughts?

Tags: Anthony Barr Johnny Manziel Kony Ealy Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft

  • Victor streetz

    Derek carr is better than Johnny Menzel he’s just as fast & has a better arm plus played in a pro style offense Derek is the better pick here…..

    • Erik Lambert

      Like I said, he was already taken a pick earlier by Tampa Bay.

  • David Mallow

    TB will not draft a QB, no matter what. They have Glennon who isnt that bad and they will not risk a bust in this draft. They need defense as well and will be in line with everyone else. Defense rules this draft with a few offensive stars sprinkled in. Minnesota will in fact trade back to 13-17 somewhere, accumulate more picks and that will be on the defensice side of the ball..that first pick is probably a guy like Dennard, Pryor, Clinton-Dix, Roby or even Jernigan. They will not reach again, I guarantee it.

    • Ken Tomlin

      I agree David, if stuck at 8 and can’t trade back: Gilbert. See them trading back and going for one of the guys you mentioned. I’ve been saying that for weeks now, we will NOT take a QB in 1st RD! We’ll look in 2nd-4th for QB. Garropolo, Mett, McCarron, take your pick whichever NORV thinks is the best option.

  • Ken Tomlin

    I’ve got an idea, and I wonder what other Viking fans think? This is a ” what if” scenario. I’m using the draft trade chart so I’m using their point system. VIKES trade their 1st rd(#8-1400 pts) and 7th rd(#200-12pts) Total 1412 pts. I have 2 different trade options here with the Jets. 1st option: we get Jets-
    1st rd-pick 18 (900pts)
    3rd rd-pick 80 (190pts)
    5th rd-pick142 (35pts)
    Total:1125 + we get 2015 1st rd pick.
    2nd option:
    1st rd pick 18(900pts)
    4th rd pick 111(72pts)
    5th rd pick 142(35pts)
    6th rd pick 179(21pts)
    Total:1028+ we get 2015 1st rd pick.
    Why would we/Jets do this trade? Jets move up for Adams or Watkins if he happens to fall (not likely with Watkins) Jets need playmakers, so why not get 2nd best WR in draft before Bills or Lions get him. With 2 1st rd picks next year we can look at Hundley/ Petty/ Mariaota. I think any of those 3 would be a great option for our franchise QB! I’m leaning more towards Petty now. What do you all think? Stupid idea? Great idea? By the way we can still draft a QB this year in like rd 6. Shaw?

    • Zach Haugen

      I am confused. How do we get all those picks plus a first round pick next year. That math doesn’t add up to me. That’s like 2000 some points and we are only giving up 1400

      • Ken Tomlin

        In option 1- Jets pt total is 1125. If you look at what the redskins gave up to move up to #2 back in 2012,it was way more than the 2600pts that pick is worth. Or look at what ATL gave up to go up and get Jones. By taking lower rd picks worth less they’d need to make up the point difference. Since you can’t be sure what pick you’ll have next year, you can’t be sure of its worth. I understand that a 2015 1st rd pick might seem high, but for a team to move up into the top 10, the team moving down should get some incentive to drop all the way down to 18.

    • manbearpig01

      In this scenario, I would take your 2nd option. This is a deep draft class and the more pics, the better.

      • Ken Tomlin

        I’d go with the 2nd option myself. The 1st option, while giving us a 3rd( we’d have 3 3rdrs then) might help in draft ammo for this yr to move up into bottom of 1st rd or getting an extra 2nd. The more picks the better especially with this deep draft class.

  • Paul Engleson

    If none of the Good QB’s are there at #8 I pick up the DB from Oklahoma State the pick up a QB in the 2nd Round then focus on Defense the rest of the picks.