The risk of getting too cute in QB search

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
5:00
PM ET
In the video posted below, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay says that Washington quarterback Jake Locker still has a "mid- to late-round" grade after his pro day Wednesday. McShay wonders if a quarterback-needy team with a pick in the upper half of the draft -- such as the Minnesota Vikings at No. 12 -- might try to trade down and draft Locker later in the first round.

My response: If you like Locker and think he can be your franchise quarterback, would it really be worth the risk to pass on him at No. 12 and target him later in the draft?

The quarterback position is so important and so valuable, and in the Vikings' case so barren, that it wouldn't be the worst crime in the world to draft one you like a bit higher than he might be stacked on your draft board. To me, that will be especially true if the NFL ultimately develops a rookie pay scale that will lower the difference in pay between No. 12 and, say, No. 25.

The ideal scenario is to draft another player at No. 12 and then use multiple other picks to get back into the first round to draft Locker. But given the Vikings' desperation at that position, and the relative difficulty of finding a franchise quarterback, that might be too cute for comfort.

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