For all the NFL clubs with a quarterback need drafting near the top of the first round, there isn't much certainty that they'll choose to fill that need before Round 2. And the way the general manager of one of those clubs is talking -- Minnesota Vikings personnel chief Rick Spielman -- there isn't much reason to.
"That's a big reason why we made it a high priority to sign Matt Cassel back. Every one of these quarterbacks ... nothing is a sure thing. There's no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning. It is such a mixed bag with each player -- every one of them has positives, every one of them has negatives," Spielman said, according to mmqb.si.com. "And if that's the way you end up feeling, why don't you just wait 'til later in the draft, and take someone with the first pick you're sure will help you right now?"
Peter King reports that one coach told him that trying to decide which QB to select in this draft is "torturous."
And pass on it themselves.
NFL Media analyst Charles Davis backs up that notion with his mock draft, which includes no quarterbacks in the first 10 picks. Nolan Nawrocki's Top 50, a value board rather than a mock, also includes no quarterbacks in the top 10. Davis projects Fresno State's Derek Carr to be the first quarterback chosen, No. 11 by the Tennessee Titans, ahead of Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, UCF's Blake Bortles and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Nawrocki's top-rated quarterback is Bortles, whom he ranks as the draft's No. 17 prospect.
Spielman, of course, could be posturing with one philosophy and eventually drafting with another.
But the gap between the first and second tiers of quarterback prospects is seemingly disappearing. And the teams with late first-round picks and a desire to put a young quarterback in place could find themselves with a better selection than expected.