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Updated: May 8th, 2014 2:22pm
Mackey: What should Vikings do if every QB is still on the board at 8?

Mackey: What should Vikings do if every QB is still on the board at 8?

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by Phil Mackey

With the NFL draft set to begin on Thursday night, the most important question for the Minnesota Vikings might be this:

If the first seven teams all pass on quarterbacks, should Rick Spielman pull the trigger on Johnny Manziel (or whichever QB he has ranked No. 1 on the draft board) at No. 8?

Many pundits have suggested this scenario is very plausible - no quarterbacks taken in the first seven picks - including NFL Network's Mike Mayock, who had Blake Bortles as the first quarterback off the board at No. 11, and USA Today's Tom Pelissero, who mentioned on our radio show earlier today that the Vikings believe the first seven teams are all likely to draft non-quarterbacks.

But if the Vikings - starved for a franchise quarterback - are willing to stare at a board full of quarterbacks and either trade down or select a defensive player instead, aren't they kind of saying they aren't sure if a franchise quarterback exists in this draft?

It'd be one thing if one or two quarterbacks had already fallen off the board when it came time for the Vikings to pick at No. 8. In that case, it'd be easy to justify taking the top cornerback or linebacker as opposed to the third-best quarterback.

What are the odds of an entire draft class of quarterbacks flopping? Well, by my judgment, since Peyton Manning was drafted in 1998 there have been only three drafts where a very good quarterback did not emerge (not counting 2013, because it's simply too early to tell) - 2010, where Sam Bradford was the closest thing to a franchise QB; 2007, with JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn and Kevin Kolb; and 2002, which brought us David Carr, Joey Harrington and Patrick Ramsey.

Each draft is obviously different, but odds are (12 out of 15, to be exact) this draft will produce at least one pretty damn good quarterback.

So if all of this year's quarterbacks are available to be taken No. 8 overall, should the Vikings take one?

If he's available, I say take Johnny. If nothing else, he'd be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Patrick Ramsey