Tuesday's SportsNation chat brought a high level of frivolity and at least one question that pushed us some 10 months into the future. Here was the exchange:
Do you know anything about the QBs coming out next year? I want Malllet for the Vikings
Kevin Seifert (2:42 PM)
Not much, other than Locker and Luck are the two highest rated.
I'll be the first to admit that answer deserves additional depth. Standard disclaimer: We all know that draft rankings can change dramatically over the course of a college season. But since it's never too early to talk about the draft, here are Mel Kiper's Top 5 quarterbacks for 2011:
Washington's Jake Locker
Stanford's Andrew Luck*
Arkansas' Ryan Mallett*
Florida State's Christian Ponder
Houston's Case Keenum
Both Kiper and Todd McShay consider Locker, Luck and Mallett among their top 10 overall prospects. From an NFC North perspective, this apparent strength means more to the Vikings than anyone else. I think we can safely say they're the only team without a long-term answer at the position.
But strength at the top of the quarterback class bodes well for the rest of the division as well. Every quarterback that gets drafted ahead of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers increases the chances that a top prospect at another position will fall their way.