Rick Spielman Still Has No Idea How to Evaluate College Quarterbacks

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Spielman did a lot of good things as Minnesota Vikings general manager, a post he held for a decade, from 2012 to 2022. He drafted Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Harrison Smith, Kyle Rudolph, Danielle Hunter, Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson.

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He swung big on blockbuster trades, when called upon and wasn’t afraid to rock the boat or make headlines, if that’s what he thought was best for the Vikings. But if there was one thing that eventually sunk Rick’s ship in Minnesota, it was his inability to identify and target a worthy QB1 quarterback in the NFL Draft.

Rick Spielman would take Caleb Williams over who…?

That isn’t stopping him from making his opinions known regarding the 2024 quarterback draft class. Now working with The 33rd Team and CBS Sports Network, Spielman got on his ‘With the First Pick‘ podcast this week and said some pretty hyperbolic things about USC’s Caleb Williams, who is expected to go #1 overall, come April.

How hyperbolic? Well, he isn’t the first person to evaluate Williams and come out believing he is a better prospect than Trevor Lawrence or Joe Burrow. Still, it’s eyebrow raising, at the least. But then, Rick goes on to say that he Williams is a better prospect than what John Elway and Peyton Manning were, which turns the conversation into pure comedy.

After watching this, it’s easy to see why Rick Spielman struggled to find the best quarterbacks for his coaching staffs to develop, while working for the Vikings. For those of you who don’t know, Elway and Manning are widely considered, along with Andrew Luck, as the best quarterback prospects of all time. No-miss guys.

Caleb Williams certainly has his moments and very well might be the best QB prospect in this draft. But Rick is the only draft expert you will hear go that far out on a limb for #13 from Southern California.

Rick Spielman’s track record drafting quarterbacks

Rick started working for the Minnesota Vikings organization in 2006, as the team’s vice president of player personnel, before eventually being promoted to GM six years later (2012). Spielman may not have been running the Vikings war room during the 2011 NFL Draft but you can bet he had a very large say in drafting Christian Ponder #12 overall, probably the most infamous draft choice in modern franchise history.

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But that wasn’t the only QB drafted by the Vikings during Spielman’s time in Minnesota. In his first season with the organization (2006), they drafted Tarvaris Jackson in the 2nd-round and swung at eight different quarterbacks from 2006 to 2022, including two in the 1st round and two on day two.

  • 2006: Tarvaris Jackson – 2nd round (64th)
  • 2007: Tyler Thigpen – 7th round (217th)
  • 2010: Joe Webb – 6th round (199th)
  • 2008: John David Booty – 5th round (137th)
  • 2011: Christian Ponder – 1st round (12th)
  • 2014: Teddy Bridgewater – 1st round (32nd)
  • 2020: Nate Stanley – 7th round (249th)
  • 2021: Kellen Mond – 3rd round (66th)

I mean, no offense to Mr. Spielman, but I’m not so sure anybody betting on the future of quarterbacks should take his advice on Williams to any banks.

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