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Does signing backup QB Case Keenum mean the Vikings won’t draft a quarterback?

When it comes to backup quarterbacks, the best NFL teams can usually hope for is a player that gives them a chance to win when asked to fill in for a few games. Well, the Minnesota Vikings got that by signing former Texans and Rams QB Case Keenum.

Keenum won Los Angeles’s quarterback competition in training camp last year, beating out No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff. But after he struggled, throwing nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in nine starts, the Rams turned to their hopeful future franchise quarterback.

While he might not be fit to be a starting quarterback, he’s gone 9-7 as a starter since 2014 on teams that, similarly to the Vikings, had very good defenses.

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So on the roster now, the Vikings have Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, Keenum and Taylor Heinicke, an undrafted free agent who has not yet seen NFL action.

It wouldn’t seem that there would be any more room at the inn for one more quarterback in the draft, but at the NFL Combine, GM Rick Spielman didn’t dismiss the idea of adding another QB to the mix.

“We haven’t as much, you look at that and maybe that trend changes a little bit,” Spielman said. “I know we were very excited about [Taylor] Heinicke and where he was coming. I didn’t anticipate, which is my fault, that he was going to put his foot through a door and miss the preseason. That’s another area we have to look at because he missed all that time in preseason and training camp and that’s probably the most valuable time for young quarterbacks. During the season it’s mostly running scout team. So that’s an area where we can definitely [look at].”

Plenty of more pressing needs will have to be addressed by the Vikings when it comes to the NFL Draft – and the list may have grown with news that Sharrif Floyd’s career is in jeopardy because of a nerve issue in his knee – but there is a case to add another young quarterback.

The Vikings situation under center is very murky at the moment. Bradford doesn’t have a contract past 2017, it’s unclear when/if Bridgewater will return, Keenum is a one-year solution at backup and Heinicke has barely seen the practice field.

A few years ago, the Seattle Seahawks appeared to have their quarterback situation set when they drafted Russell Wilson in the third round. They received terrible marks from draft graders. It also seemed pretty odd when Washington grabbed Kirk Cousins in the fourth round after selecting Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick. New England even spent a second-round pick on Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014 with Tom Brady under center.

All of those teams had some level of uncertainty at quarterback, as the Vikings do now.

The problem with drafting a QB for Minnesota, however, is that they probably wouldn’t want to use a third or fourth-round pick on one, but spending a late-round pick on a quarterback is usually the equivalent of setting the pick on fire. In the last 10 drafts, there is only one quarterback who has become a consistent starter that was picked in rounds 5-7, that’s Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor.

So the Vikings will have to make a tough call: Spend a pick before the fifth round or pass on a quarterback, despite the possible upside of finding a diamond in the rough (or at very least, a solid future backup or trade piece).

Will the Vikings draft a quarterback?

 

  • Brian_pdx

    Draft no QB this year but get Luke Falk next year. Problems solved. Mixon, Lamp, Pocic or another interior lineman should be the priorities. Love to get the WR from E. WA. but he will be gone if we address the OL and RB which should be the priorities, then go defense.

    • Jef Hal

      Sounds like QB is taken care of. Bradford is the franchise QB now. We need to draft all linemen. Receivers, we have what we need. Defense, our backups are starters anywhere else. AND Maybe hire the most glaring hole..the trainers. if they are not hurt, they can play.

      • Brian_pdx

        I don’t know how any trainer could have avoided some of the injuries they have had, especially Teddy. A non contact injury in practice this bad? Scouts said before his draft Teddy’s lower body was too slim and not strong and it would appear they were right. The medical staff may have actually saved his leg with fast and effective treatment and immobilization. The weight training coach was dismissed last year and he was a problem. Free weights are a bad idea in my humble opinion.

    • Jef Hal

      Also, on a tangent, Bridgewater is putting pressure on his throwing leg, good sign, we will see how lateral movement improves, in the months to come!

      • Brian_pdx

        We all love the guy but this is perhaps the worst injury a player can suffer. Top upside might be a good backup QB and at one time walking again was a question.

    • linus

      Falk is the QB at WSU, right? You know, the team that the Gophers held to just one TD and 12 total points, despite missing practically their entire starting secondary?

      • Brian_pdx

        Been through this before. One game does not make a career. You, like everyone else, focus on midwest, east coast teams and ignore the northwest. That is why guys like Kupp and Falk are drafted later than they should be. Value. Falk has led the NCAA what twice in passing on bad teams with a terrible head coach. Minnesota then fired their head coach who won the bowl game. Figure that out, altho I do like the guy from western Michigan was it that they hired? Falk is the really f’ing deal and I just hope 31 other NFL teams are as ignorant of his skills as you are.

        • linus

          I don’t actually have any opinion on Falk. Just giving a WSU fan a hard time. Gophers’ fans don’t get many opportunities to gloat (not that I’m much of a Gophers’ fan, either).

    • Bob T.

      I am hitting the O- line pretty hard. 2 in the first 3 picks among my multiple mocks. I do have D at 86 and 160 on my preferred. I am curious about your “then go defense” philosophy.

      • Brian_pdx

        Offense first three picks, two OL and a RB (Mixon), then go best defensive players at a position of need: LB, then DB or DL. Still need a tight end and WR in that mix. Seems we are in tune.

  • Jef Hal

    ONLY 1 more thing. The talking heads always want to bring up Bradford’s injury History. 1st, look what he has played with(no protection). 2nd, last 2 years, 2 teams, missed 2?? Shitty lines, dropped passes(philly). It is amazing he his alive after last season, let alone did what he did. the wr catch everything from him..says something..

  • linus

    I’m tired of “developmental” young QBs like Heinicke who, if everything goes right, might eventually become a decent backup but will never be a capable starter. So if that Evans kid from Virginia Tech is available in round 5 or later, I wouldn’t mind if the Vikings took him. At least he has a chance to be really good, and if he flames out, so what? Most players drafted in round 5 or later don’t do much anyway.

  • Gordon Guffey

    I think QB is in good hands for 2017 unless you want to have two starting QB’s on the roster and I dont know of a team that has two QB capable outside of NE ~ I get the feeling that Bridgewater isn’t going to play this year even if he felt he could at some point ~ Sometimes I know coaches have to hold players back in order to protect them from themselves ~ And if the Vikings want to draft a QB in the latter rounds I would be just fine and dandy with that too ~
    I believe Keenum is a better QB today than Hill could have been at his age and as good as Hill was when he was younger ~ Also Keenum has been much like Bradford in that they have always played with teams that have had poor OL play ~ I’m not sure if Bradford or Bridgewater when and if he makes it back would know what to do playing behind a good OL ~ Hopefully Keenum will not be called on but if he is I will feel much better with the improvements to the OL and having a healthy MurrayMcKinnon to help carry the workload ~

    • hexor

      Keenum is a younger better version of Bradford!

      • linus

        Keenum and Bradford are both 29.

        • hexor

          Well if you want to get technical Sam was born in 1987 Case was born in 1988… 😉

  • Marc Spector

    I always get this guy confused with Chase Daniel for some reason.

    • hexor

      Keenum is way better!

  • Topgunn

    I’m O.K. with this for the short term. We have too many other priorities to even consider drafting a QB.

  • Bob T.

    I like it. Cancels my Dobbs in the 7th thingy.

  • David Prestin

    I like this signing. I only wish vikes would have had a 2nd year option included.

  • Justin Fuchs

    Case Keenum freaking sucks.

    • Chip Toof

      What? You preferred Krappernick? (He was lower rated).

      • Justin Fuchs

        Both suck. Did you ever watch Case Keenum when he had to sub for Goff last year? He’s a Ponder wannabe.

        • hexor

          You have no idea what you’re talking about! Keenum is 9-7 in his last 16 games…Keenum broke 2 All-time Rams passing records in a short amount of games…Most conservative passing completions in a game, and best passer ratting fir a regular season game at Rams…When Rams sat Keenum after a win they went 0-7 with Goff & gkt blown out of every game…If not for a couple of drooped passes Rams woukd have had 2 more wins eith Keenum at the helm…Last year Keenum had the fastest avg. Relase time in the NFL…When Keenum was allowed avg. Throwing time behind the Rams horrible line Keenum was rated #7 overall in NFL with little to no weapons around him… Keenum also had the best 4 career starts for an undafted free agent in NFL History…Over 20,000 yards 178TDS & completed 70% of his passes in college…If you’re a Vikings fan you should be getting ready for Keenum to be your starting QB!

        • FreedomRider

          Goff sat the bench till after mid season and he was a #1 overall draft choice costing the Rams a crap load of draft choices. Goff actually sucks at this point.
          Keenum didn’t sub for Goff it was the other way around.
          I don’t know what team you were watching but wasn’t the Rams.
          Frigging Tom Brady couldn’t have done anything behind that lame Rams O-Line.

  • styx rogan

    i’d take a one legged Teddy over this stiff anyday

  • Luis “TGO Fate”

    Not a bad pick up especially for a one year/2mil contract. I would think that the Vikes will draft a QB in either the 4th or 5th. They’ll probably pick RB somewhere in the 3rd. Seems as if that 2nd round pick is going to go DT. Zim said they aren’t going to take away from the defense to improve the offense and with the uncertainty of Floyd’s injury they’ll definitely need someone to replace his pressure and to shore up the run defense. I see it possibly breaking down as: 2nd- DT 3rd- RB 3rd- OL(RB and OL could be interchangeable depending on depth at those positions.) 4th- QB 4th- OL(once again these picks depend on depth) 5th-WR 6th-LB and 7th-CB

    • Gordon Guffey

      I have been on the fence about the DT spot next to Joseph for a couple of months until I saw this video ~ Seem Jones played a lot of UT in college and Greenbay thought they could make a DELB out of him in the 3~4 defense and it didn’t workout ~ He will be adding 10 or 15 pounds before TC in light of thats where he played in college but had to lose weight to play for the Packers ~ Jones has been close to alot of sack but has got a lot of hits on the QB since he joined the Packers ~ He said he has already been shown what he could have done differently to make those hit turn into sact ~ So I’m not so sure about the UT spot ~ Also Joseph has took to him having him set next to him in team meeting ~ And Joseph has took Joens under his wings so to speak ~

      Posted: 19 hours ago
      Jones: My Opportunity Was Cut Short In Green Bay

      “”” DT “”” Datone Jones addressed the media from Winter Park on Tuesday.
      http://www.vikings.com/media-vault/videos/Jones-My-Opportunity-Was-Cut-Short-In-Green-Bay/2925c7e5-073e-4636-9f4a-41e3e8b39ded

  • jeffreyinoc

    Meh. A younger Shaun Hill.

  • Andre Esters

    I still believe Minnesota could draft a QB, but at least now it can be in the later rounds.
    All the concern thats being made of contracts, extensions, and options at QB seem a little forced. Understandable no doubt, but the way I see it Bradford is the #1 of 2017, let him play for a future contract. If his health slips, Keenum is now a managable #2. If things get real dicey, then there is Heineke at #3. No reason to debate Bridgewater, he’s basically a non-factor until 2018. Not the worst setup for Minnesota, hope they focus their draft efforts towards guys who can contribut now instead of developmental projects.

  • FreedomRider

    I’m a Keenum homer so I may be a little biased. Case is a consummate team player and will give 110 percent everyday. A great guy to have on your team. As a UH alum I watched him light it up in college and he was showing flashes on the Texans but they were in trouble as a team at that time. The Rams had no offensive line or defense but he still managed a better record than their #1 draftt choice.
    Overall I would say a good pickup for the Vikings and a new team for me to follow.

    • Gordon Guffey

      Rams haven’t had a good OL sense before Bradford was drafted ~ I like Keenum also ~ JMHO I thought he played well based on the fact their OL sucked last year ~ I dont believe the Vikings will draft a QB is they truly like Heinicke as much as has been said ~ However that could be a smoke screen ~

  • Andre Esters

    Keenum is far from a perfect substitute, but the dude is capable of playing decent ball. Add the defensive element, and Minnesota looks to be in a okay spot NOT force the QB situation.
    Of course, if there is a must have talent sitting in the 6th, 5th, or even 4th round, pull the trigger Vikes! Replacing Heinicke with a rookie is not a terrible approach, especially with so much up in the air with Bradford, Bridgewater, and depth options going forward.

  • Luis “TGO Fate”

    My favorite QB’s in the draft are Mahomes, Peterman, Dobbs, and Evans from VT. Mahomes is a potential 1st rounder and more than likely gone before 2nd round ends. Peterman, and Dobbs, will probably go either 3rd or 4th round. Evans doesn’t seem to be ranked very high so he could be there in the 5th or 6th. These are guys that are going to need time to develop into anything, but with Bradford and Keenum practically locked in as starter and backup, I can see Rick taking a shot. Bradford, Keenum, and Bridgewater are all free agents after this season. So they need to make sure that they at least have someone under contract for next season. To be honest I think with a year of sitting, learning the playbook, and adjusting to the league I think either one of those 4 could develop into potential franchise QB’s.





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Previous Story Zulgad: Uncertainty continues to surround Vikings’ quarterback situation Next Story No first-round pick? No problem. 5 things Vikings fans can watch for in Round 1