Minnesota Vikings: 10 Quarterbacks That Should Be on the Radar After 2010

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IDecember 22, 2010

Minnesota Vikings: 10 Quarterbacks That Should Be on the Radar After 2010

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    I wrote an article similar to this a couple months back, but I felt as though it were time to make a new, updated list.

    Many quarterbacks that weren't on my last list will be included in this one. Also, several quarterbacks that were in the list one, are no longer being considered.

    Minnesota's situation at the helm next year is one that is clearly up in the air. There truly is no favorite as to who will be number one on the depth chart come September.

    As far as we know, Brett Favre will be retiring after this season, Tarvaris Jackson will leave through free agency, and Joe Webb has tons of potential.

    There are several quarterbacks like Kevin Kolb, Chad Henne and Matt Flynn that could be traded to a team that is looking to improve on offense.

    Let's take a look at ten possible options for the Minnesota Vikings to look at this offseason!

1. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    Age: 28

    Years pro: 6

    2010 stats: 3,653 yards, 20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions

    Kyle Orton played tremendously well for the Broncos in the first half of the season, but he quickly started to fizzle, struggling in his last three games as a starter for Denver.

    With Tim Tebow now the starting quarterback for Denver, Kyle Orton's days with the Broncos are most likely over.

    Orton is a fantastic quarterback with a great arm, but he often under-throws, over-throws, or just completely misses his target completely.

    Being only 28 years old, Orton still has plenty of life left in him. Kyle has played in 62 games as a quarterback in the NFL.

    Final verdict:

    I don't think Orton will end up in purple and gold, but I won't count him out. I still believe Minnesota will go with a quarterback in the first round of the 2011 draft.

    While Orton will most certainly not be a Bronco, his chances of landing with the Vikings aren't that high either.

2. Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 240 lbs.

    Age: 34

    Years pro: 12

    2010 stats: 3,377 yards, 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions

    Donovan McNabb is another talented quarterback that has likely seen their last days with his respective team.

    McNabb was benched in favor of Rex Grossman last week. Rex threw four touchdowns against Dallas, cementing his spot as the number one quarterback in Washington.

    On November 15, McNabb received a five-year contract extension. Many were left dazed and confused as to why Mike Shanahan decided that this was a good idea.

    Coach Shanahan and McNabb have feuded from day one, which is never a good sign, obviously. If one of them is leaving Washington, it's the quarterback.

    While Donovan is clearly not the quarterback he once was, he still has plenty to offer to a team that is trying to make their way into the playoffs. The Redskins just weren't that team.

    Final verdict:

    Donovan shouldn't become a Viking, in my opinion, but it may happen if the Vikings' organization doesn't want to groom a rookie quarterback once again.

    That said, McNabb's chances of being a Minnesota Viking are somewhat slim. His season with the Redskins hasn't impressed me enough to give him my vote.

3. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

    Age: 30

    Years pro: 8

    2010 stats: 2,755 yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 613 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns

    Okay, so maybe I'm dreaming about this one, but it's certainly not impossible. However, Minnesota's chances of either trading for or signing Michael Vick are slim to none.

    Vick, who was in prison just over two years ago, is now the leading MVP candidate, and his performance against the Giants this past Sunday may have secured the award for him.

    Vick is putting up ridiculous numbers, despite having missed three games for the Eagles. Kevin Kolb replaced Vick in these games.

    It's a definite that nobody expected these kind of numbers from Vick, which will definitely lead to him being the most improved player in the NFL this season.

    There is absolutely no way Philadelphia should or could let Michael Vick go. He means far too much to the franchise and the fans for him to walk.

    Final verdict:

    It would nearly take a miracle for the Vikings to land Vick in the offseason, so you can basically write Vick off your wish-list this Christmas.

4. Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    Age: 25

    Years pro: 3

    2010 stats: 433 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions

    It would be somewhat foolish for the Packers to trade Matt Flynn within the division, but if the price is right, Green Bay would ultimately decide to pull the trigger.

    Flynn's three touchdown performance against a fairly strong defense showed me that Matt has potential if he gets the snaps. But since he's behind Aaron Rodgers, Flynn will rarely see the field.

    There's likely going to be a team that will believe in Flynn's potential, and will do what they can to pull off a trade.

    It was only nine months ago when third-string quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst, was traded to the Seahawks for a fairly high price.

    The point I'm trying to make is that when a team has the option to trade a back-up for a high draft pick, they do it.

    It would be a serious shame for Green Bay to let Matt's talents go to waste on the bench, holding the clipboard.

    Final verdict:

    Green Bay shouldn't trade Flynn to a contender, but McNabb was traded from the Eagles to the Redskins, so anything can happen.

    While it may not be Minnesota, Flynn should have a new team in 2011.

5. Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 218 lbs.

    Age: 26

    Years pro: 4

    2010 stats: 1,035 yards, 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions

    With Michael Vick looking like the old Vick, yet better, Kevin Kolb is no longer an important piece to the Eagles' puzzle.

    If Vick is signed long-term, Kolb is almost a guarantee to be traded in the offseason, which is what should happen in the first place.

    Kevin was selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Eagles. He was expected to serve as a back-up to McNabb for years to come, but nothing else was expected.

    When McNabb was traded to the Redskins, Kolb's time to shine was right in front of his face. To make a long story short, Kevin dropped the ball.

    With the chances of Kolb starting soon for the Eagles being extremely low, Philadelphia should look to trade Kolb while they still can.

    Final verdict:

    Kolb has been linked to the Vikings for quite some time now, and it's for a good reason. Kevin would be a great fit for Minnesota's offensive scheme.

    It may take a high draft pick, but quarterback will be the most important position for the Vikings to look at this offseason.

6. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Age: 25

    Years pro: 3

    2010 stats: 2,952 yards, 14 touchdowns, 16 interceptions

    Chad Henne, once expected to be the future of the Dolphins, is now known as one of the more inconsistent quarterback's in the NFL.

    Chad has played in all of Miami's games this year, minus a Thursday night game against the Chicago Bears in Week 11.

    The Dolphins went on to lose the game 16-0.

    Henne has several good targets to throw to, but he still struggles with throwing bone-head interceptions. Chad is one of the big reasons why the Dolphins are now out of the playoff race in the AFC.

    Taken with the 57th pick in the 2008 draft out of Michigan, Henne had high hopes, but he likely won't live up to them as long as he's with Miami.

    The Dolphins will likely soon realize that they probably won't be able to get over the hump with Henne as their quarterback.

    Final verdict:

    Although it may seem like I've only "hated" on Henne thus far, I actually think he still has potential to be a very solid quarterback in the NFL.

    Perhaps a new change of scenery would be the best option for the young quarterback.

7. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 232 lbs.

    Age: 27

    Years pro: 5

    2010 stats: 1,255 yards, 10 touchdowns, 3 interceptions

    Vince Young, who was taken with the third pick in the 2006 draft out on Texas, was expected to be the next big thing in the NFL.

    After five years in the pros, Young has had his fair share of ups and downs. He's missed 24 games in his career, 13 of those coming in 2008.

    Vince went out for the year over a month ago, but much more controversy was created out of a minor injury.

    Many felt that Young's days were over in Tennessee after Jeff Fisher's verbal confrontation with his franchise quarterback.

    With that said, Fisher is the more likely of the two to not be with the Titans organization in 2011. However, both could find their way out of Tennessee for the better of the franchise.

    Final verdict:

    I think Tennessee will hang on to Vince for at least one more year, but he's not likely to stick around after that, unless he improves drastically.

    Minnesota would likely have to give up a high draft pick in exchange for the former Pro Bowl quarterback.

8. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 238 lbs.

    Age: 22

    Class: Junior

    2010 stats: 3,592 yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

    Ryan Mallett is without a doubt my favorite of the quarterbacks that could potentially be there when the Vikings pick in the top ten.

    Andrew Luck has no chance of going to the Vikings, which is a big reason why I won't have him included in this slideshow.

    Mallett is a humongous quarterback, with one of the strongest arms in college football today. He's tremendous at throwing the long ball.

    I recently wrote a mock draft for the Vikings, which I had Minnesota taking Ryan Mallett with the ninth pick in.

    Although he may not be the best fit for Minnesota's offense, Mallett is undoubtedly ready for what the NFL has to bring.

    Final verdict:

    Mallett has a great chance of being with the Vikings after the 2011 draft. There's a good chance a team like the 49ers, Bengals or Cardinals could take him in the top ten, before Minnesota.

    There's four months until the 2011 draft, but many are still in anticipation to see who the Vikings take in the first round.

9. Cameron Newton, Auburn Tigers

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 248 lbs.

    Age: 21

    Class: Junior

    2010 stats: 2,589 yards, 28 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 1,409 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns

    Oh, so that's why he won the Heisman!

    Cameron Newton may be one of the most "raw" quarterbacks eligible for the draft, but he is clearly one of the most talented.

    The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner will likely declare for the 2011 draft. His stock is far too high for him to give the Auburn Tigers another year.

    Newton will be compared to Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, when it comes to whether or not they be a great passing quarterback in the NFL.

    When he gets time in the pocket, Cameron Newton can make the big throws, but if he can't, he's always got those great legs to run with.

    Final verdict:

    Newton could easily go top five if a team is willing to make the risk. Minnesota could be a definite wild card to take Cam in the top ten.

    A 6'6" quarterback that is physical, tough, quick, and intelligent is always a great start for a team that needs one the most.

10. Jake Locker, Washington Huskies

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Age: 22

    Class: Senior

    2010 stats: 2,209 yards, 17 touchdowns, 9 interceptions

    Jake Locker is the perfect example of why you should declare for the draft when your stock is incredibly high.

    Locker, who could have very likely been the first pick in 2010, decided to forgo the draft in order to play for one more year with the Washington Huskies.

    Considered to be a huge disappointment, Locker has struggled with accuracy, decision-making, and has definitely taken a decline since last year.

    Even though his numbers aren't impressive, Locker's mechanics will make him a first-round selection no matter what.

    Jake is considered to be the best fit for Minnesota's offense, but his lackluster numbers in his senior season have me slightly concerned.

    Final verdict:

    Locker will be a first-rounder, but I don't think the Vikings should reach for him in the top ten. If Mallett and Newton are both gone, Minnesota can either trade down or take Locker.

    In order for his stock to improve, Locker will definitely have to perform in the Senior Bowl and put on a great performance at the combine.