Found February 21, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Entering the 2012 season with a second-year, first-round draft pick as the incumbent starter at quarterback and with an athletic third-year player behind him, the Minnesota Vikings would seem to be set at the position for the near future. The scenario has pundits believing Minnesota could be a trade partner in April's NFL draft for a team looking to make a move for Baylor Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III. With Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck seemingly set to be the top pick by the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback-needy teams could have their sights set on Griffin. The St. Louis Rams own the No. 2 pick and have quarterback Sam Bradford, who St. Louis took first overall in the 2010 draft. Entering the offseason, Christian Ponder, the 12th overall pick last year, is the starter for the Vikings, who have the No. 3 pick. With two teams seemingly set at quarterback selecting second and third, those spots are the logical targets of draft trade speculation. Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman didn't discourage that speculation when he spoke to reporters last week, but he gave everyone something to think about when he said the Vikings are pleased with Ponder but will be evaluating Luck and Griffin III as well. "I know we're very confident in Christian," Spielman said. "But if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in, too. But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be." Of course, Minnesota must look at every option with a franchise-altering pick like the No. 3 overall. Surely Spielman will consider trades, as well as a few "blue-chippers" he says are at the top of the draft. Besides the quarterbacks, Southern Cal left tackle Matt Kalil, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne could figure into the mix. The Vikings could protect Ponder with a cornerstone left tackle to solidify the position for years. They could give Ponder a big weapon with great hands. Or, unexpectedly, they could replace him. Spielman and his staff are headed to the Combine in Indianapolis this week, where they will surely talk with Luck and Griffin. Neither is expected to throw at the Combine, and Spielman and his staff will attend their respective pro days at Stanford and Baylor. The two workout days had been planned for the same day, but Baylor decided to move its workouts up a day. "We'll be doing full-Monty on (Luck) and RG3," Spielman said. "You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be overprepared than underprepared." The likeliest scenario would involve a team possibly the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins or Miami Dolphins trading up for the chance at Griffin. "If it's me, I'm looking at that real hard. I want to go get RG3," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said in a teleconference last week of Cleveland moving up from the No. 4 spot. "I'm going to examine the free-agent prospects also, but if you're talking purely draft, I'm looking to move up to two as opposed to three. "If I move to three, what if the Redskins come up to two? Obviously I'd like to give less. I'd rather not give up No. 22 also. But I think that's short sighted when you're talking about trying to secure your future at the most important position in all of sports. So I think they have to look to upgrade." The Browns, at No. 4, appear to in the best position to move ahead because they also hold the No. 22 pick, a prize that could interest St. Louis to move back just two spots. Mayock, among others, believes Griffin might be worth the price. "I think it will be a hell of a ride," Mayock said. "The more tape I put on of this kid, the more fun I have watching him. I was pleasantly surprised by, as I said earlier, his pocket awareness, his eyes down the field, and his physical toughness is outstanding. He takes a lot of hits and it doesn't bother him. "Bottom line, he's a play maker. That's what this league is all about at that position." If the Vikings do stay away from a quarterback at No. 3, Spielman acknowledged that bringing in a veteran free agent could be a possibility, similar to how Minnesota finished last season with Sage Rosenfels as the third quarterback to Ponder and Webb. Spielman said the team will be talking with Rosenfels agent this week at the Combine, a procedure it plans to go through with all of its pending free agents. "We're looking at options as a veteran quarterback, as a third quarterback," Spielman said. "We could be looking at options of having two quarterbacks, and having a guy on the practice squad. So we're very open to that. I think we have some veterans that we have our eye on that can come in and play that mentor role, but could also come in and play if they had to play as well. Sage did a great job with that last year. There are a couple other guys out there I can't mention that we think would fill that role." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.

Griffin moves his pro day

Robert Griffin III would likely be viewed as a rare, unique talent were it not for a certain Stanford quarterback many believe as the best thing since the Big Bang. Dueling pro days were planned for Baylor and Stanford, but as luck (or Luck?) would have it RGIII and Andrew Luck no longer have to share the dance card: Baylor associate athletic director Nick Joos said Monday that...

2012 NFL Combine quarterback rankings

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford (Jr.) 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Proj. 1 Positives: Considered the best quarterback prospect since John Elway with all the tools and enough talent to build a team around for the next 15 years. He's the prototype with size, athleticism, smarts, and drive. ... He wants to be a winner. He's a franchise player and has the attitude, in a good way. ... A tremendous...

Luck still may throw at Scouting Combine

Over the weekend, Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reported that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was willing to throw at the Scouting Combine, but that he was advised by the Colts to wait until his March 22 Pro Day.  Now, however, there’s evidence to the contrary. Joe Schad of reports that George Whitfield, who…

Luck working with Newton's QB tutor Whitfield

Former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the projected No.1 overall pick in April's NFL draft, has been training with quarterback guru George Whitfield.

Scouts agree: Andrew Luck should be Colts’ pick

Many are split on which highly-touted quarterback — Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III — should get the dubious honor of succeeding Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Some mocks have Luck landing with the Colts at No. 1 overall, while others project Griffin III in the same spot. This will inevitably change dozens of times between now and late April. However, there seems to be an...

Scouts, coaches agree: Andrew Luck should be Colts’ pick

Many are split on which highly-touted quarterback — Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III — should get the dubious honor of succeeding Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Some mocks have Luck landing with the Colts at No. 1 overall, while other prognosticators project Griffin III in the same spot. This will inevitably change dozens of times between now and late April. However, there...

NFL Draft 2012 Meme Breakdown

Andrew Luck number one? RGW3 for the win? Maybe Trent Richardson is the best RB we have seen in years? No one will know except Mel Kiper except Mel Kiper is a Weatherman with lettuce made of plastic and is wrong religiously. All I know is its NFL Draft 2012 Meme time. ...

Stanford video takes not-so-subtle shot at USC

And we like that Making a list of differences between USC and Stanford could take a while before we even get to the way they conduct on the football field and sidelines. USC has a certain swagger, an edge or cool factor. They’re USC, and they are not afraid to let everyone know about it. Or so that is how it comes off at times, especially when USC is at the top of their game (which...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.