Joe Webb: Does He Alter The Minnesota Vikings' Draft Plans?

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Joe Webb: Does He Alter The Minnesota Vikings' Draft Plans?
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With a dazzling performance that left Eagles defenders in the dust, Joe Webb may have cemented himself as the quarterback of the future for the Vikings.

Or did he?

Webb went 17-for-26 with 196 yards passing. He didn't fumble or throw an interception and made defenders miss tackles all night long. Oh, and he ran for another 31 yards and a score.

Webb showed poise and confidence against an Eagles defense that ranked among the top 15 going into Tuesday night's game. He was sacked just once on a play that third-string tight end Jeff Dugan thought he could go one-on-one against Trent Cole.

I don't know about you, but I'll take an All-Pro defensive end against a guy that is lucky to be on an NFL team any day.

There is no doubt that Webb was aided by some spectacular catches by Percy Harvin and a punishing running game by Adrian Peterson. However, Webb put the ball where only his receivers could catch it. There were a couple of erratic throws early on, but Webb remained composed and managed a very good game.

With Tarvaris Jackson likely playing his way into free agency and the likely retirement for Brett Favre looming, the Vikings were probably looking at drafting a quarterback.

After just one performance, I'm not sold on Webb just yet and Vikings fans, players and management shouldn't be, either.

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It was one performance. It was solid, but far from the point where you abandon the quarterback position altogether in the 2011 draft.

If a quarterback is available when you select in the draft, you take the shot and move Webb to a position where he can do more damage with the ball in his hand. If one is not available, letting Joe Webb manage a season wouldn't be the worst idea.

The Vikings are a lock for a top-15 pick in the 2011 draft. Of all the teams drafting ahead of the Vikings, the Cardinals and 49ers are near locks to draft a quarterback. Teams like the Panthers (locked at No. 1 overall in the draft) and Bengals will likely draft quarterbacks.

With quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallet and Cam Newton likely heading for the draft, it appears the Vikings may be out of the running unless they manage to trade up in the draft.

Quarterback will still be a need, but just maybe Joe Webb has played himself into a candidate for starting for a season. If nothing else, grabbing another veteran quarterback off the market might not be a bad idea.

After all, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson and Brett Favre are among some older quarterbacks who played phenomenal with the Vikings in their first seasons.

All things indicate to Donovan McNabb being released. He's supposedly washed up, but is it really him or the lack of talent around him?

Safety is also a need, but after a slow start to the season, Husain Abdullah has played extremely well for the Vikings. It seems he has just as many interceptions in 14 games as all other Vikings safeties combined over the last two seasons. He should start next season, without a doubt.

The Vikings will need to find a replacement for Madieu Williams, who will likely be cut after the season. The Vikings don't have a third-round pick (thank you, Brad Childress) which really hurts this pick, but franchising Ray Edwards might not be a bad idea if the Vikings can get a third-round pick for him.

The offensive line is still terrible. If the Vikings decide on drafting a quarterback, they should invest some money to protect him. Drafting a center or right guard would do the offensive line wonders.

So, did Joe Webb open the eyes of the Vikings management? Sure he did, but will he show enough to completely change their plans for the offseason? I doubt it.

There are some holes that the Vikings have, but their record is more of a result of bad coaching than poor play this season. This is still a very dangerous team and one that should be making some noise this offseason.

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