I do hope he’s lying

I don’t understand why Rick Spielman would assure Christian Ponder, and the rest of the NFL, that the Vikings are not going to draft a quarterback with the third pick in the NFL draft. Now, perhaps they want to prevent teams from feeling the need to trade for the #2 pick, which belongs to St. Louis, who are unlikely to draft RGIII, assuming the Colts draft Andrew Luck, since they have Sam Bradford. In which case, we can hope that they are simply lying in the interest of misdirection.

While it’s true that the Vikings need serious help on the offensive line and USC OT Kalil would be the obvious choice, the most valuable asset in the NFL is a first-rate quarterback. By all the significant metrics, RGIII has much higher potential upside than Christian Ponder, who isn’t bad, but appears unlikely to ever be more than a solid, non-elite starter. That’s quite acceptable, considering recent past history, but given that the jury is still out on whether Ponder can even reach the middle ranks of the NFL quarterbacking fraternity, while RGIII looks as if Vick-level performance is probably his floor, combined with the fact that it’s no longer necessary to mortgage the franchise in order to sign a high first-rounder, why not select RGIII, then start picking offensive linemen, and presumably, defensive backs?

RGIII needs time to learn the NFL game, so he can sit for a year behind Ponder. If Ponder unexpectedly shows signs of reaching elite status, the Carson Palmer trade and Matt Flynn interest shows that RGIII can be dealt for draft value. And if Ponder ends up being mediocre, or as his rookie season suggests, injury-prone, the Vikings can give a very promising, hard-working, and intelligent young quarterback his shot.

Anyhow, if the publicly announced retention of Christian Ponder as the undisputed Vikings starting quarterback is genuinely the first move of the true Spielman era, this doesn’t bode well for its long term results. The Vikings blew it by not picking up Drew Brees when he was available, as I recommended at the time, and I’m hoping that the prospective passing on RGIII doesn’t turn out to be a similarly epic catastrophe.