The Minnesota Vikings have yet to take a snap into the 2009 season, but it's quite clear that many have written off success in their 2009 season based on the quarterback situation between veteran career backup Sage Rosenfels and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson.
However, the Vikings may only be a contender for a few of the following years, and will need to fill their biggest position if they ever hope to achieve the Super Bowl title that has eluded them.
Tarvaris Jackson is progressing, but unless he becomes the quarterback of the future over night, T-Jack will be testing free agency next year, as his current contract expires after 2009.
Sage Rosenfels, acquired from the Houston Texans for the Vikings 2009 fourth-round draft pick, has been given the nod from most critics concerning the current quarterback situation. The problem, though, will be once 2009 is done.
Let's say the Vikings fall short again and get stranded in wild card or divisional round of the playoffs, and find themselves in the same spot they did after the 2008 season. What then? Chances are, with that said, Brad Childress will find himself out of a job.
After a change in coaching, what next? Try their hand at grabbing old hall of fame quarterbacks like Brett Favre again, and try to put a band-aid on an issue that's equivalent to a broken arm?
The Vikings have needed a long-term quarterback since the Culpepper era. This much is certain. The Vikings have their best legitimate chance in 2010 draft.
Now, the Vikings aren't going to flop with a 4-12 record. They will definitely be a contender in a competitive NFC North. Over .500 is almost a gimmie.
On that note, they will most likely be in the bottom half of the first round in the draft, most likely around the 22nd or later.
At that point in the draft, the Vikings have few options at quarterback. The 2010 draft does feature the likelyhood of three top-notch quarterbacks ready to possibly come in and start. All three of the said quarterbacks were Heisman finalists, but will likely go in the first five picks.
The three quarterbacks in question are Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Colt McCoy (Texas), and Tim Tebow (Florida).
Sam Bradford is the 2008 Heismen trophy winner and current senior at University of Oklahoma. Coming from a pro-style offense in Oklahoma, his stock places him squarely in position to be the top quarterback, if not the top pick, of the 2010 draft. There is no question that Bradford will be an immediate starter in the NFL.
Colt McCoy is a 2008 Heisman finalist, and currently a junior and starting quarterback at the University of Texas in a highly competitive Big 12 conference.
Colt also has the benefit of coming from a pro-style offense, but has unfortunately a blemish from his freshmen year of throwing the ball up for grabs a lot, but seemed to tame his throw in the 2008 year as a sophomore.
He should go as a top 10 pick—maybe 15—but his pro-style will make him highly coveted to middle-round teams.
That leaves us with Tim Tebow—2007 Heisman winner, 2008 Heisman finalist, team leader of two straight national championships, and incoming senior to the University of Florida.
Tebow's currently holds many of college football's passing and quarterback rushing records, making him an interesting duel-threat quarterback.
The problem is that in the NFL he wouldn't fit into the schemes of pro football, and likely would be grabbed early because of his passing records and ability to play in the clutch.
However, the University of Florida is trying to incorporate pro-style plays into it's playbook this upcoming season, which should only help Tebow's positioning.
The Vikings could probably take a swipe at Tebow, and he'll probably fall to that 20th pick plateau...but will be risky pick. His questionable arm strength will not keep defenses from stacking the box on Adrian Peterson.
On that note, Tebow's dual-threat ability would make a dangerous combo with Adrian Peterson, and would prove a good combo with former teammate Percy Harvin—who he has great chemistry with.
To grab Bradford would be a miracle, but he is the best option for an immediate impact. The Vikings would have to trade multiple draft picks, a playmaker, or both to get him.
None seem like good ideas with how talented the 2010 draft is shaping to be overall. However, the Vikings will be in the best condition they've been in for years, which would make it the best time to trade up.
McCoy would be the happy medium for the Vikings. Drafting him wouldn't require an arm or a leg, and they would be getting a fine quarterback in return.
McCoy's freshmen year looks daring, but it could be nothing but a fluke if he comes out and performs well in 2009.
On top of that, McCoy is also known for having decent speed, and could be nice cross between Tebow and Bradford. The problem is that McCoy has no hardware (awards).
Of course, Sage Rosenfels could prove to be the quarterback of the future for the Vikings and lead them to a playoff berth and the franchise's first Super Bowl.
Or Tarvaris Jackson could finally be the quarterback he was meant to be...
Then again, the Vikings better be planning, just in case...