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Given the recent fallout by the quarterbacks in the top five, the Minnesota Vikings may have a chance to grab a top prospect after all — let’s say Blake Bortles. And according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, it might be the best-case scenario for both the team and Bortles.
According to King, Bortles is the perfect fit for first-year Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner, an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who like Bortles, did most of his damage from inside the pocket.
The Vikings’ main competition for Bortles will be the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns, who hold the first and fourth overall picks, respectively. Houston coach Bill O’Brien seems to be leaning toward picking a defensive player with the top pick, and Cleveland has been smitten with Bortles, per King. That leaves Minnesota as a very likely landing spot, and possibility the best fit for both the team and player.
I remember one scout telling me last fall, “If you can be patient with Bortles, and he decides to come out, he’s going to give you a good return on your investment. He hasn’t played as much football, as much high-level football, as most of the other guys he’d be competing with. But two or three years down the road, he’s going to pay off.”
Neither Houston or Cleveland has a quarterback entrenched as the starter for Week 1, just veterans with a handful of starts under their belts. Minnesota re-signed Matt Cassel and is expected to make him the starter, allowing Bortles or whomever they draft to spend a year holding the clipboard, watching on the sidelines.
That was the Vikings’ plan, according to King, who reported general manager Rick Speilman wants whichever rookie he drafts to essentially have “a redshirt year.” That might not be the case with the Texans or Browns, who could start their rookie as early as Week 1 or sometime in the 2014 season.
So what is Minnesota’s interest in Bortles? According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the team doesn’t have plans to bring in the former Central Florida signal-caller for a pre-draft visit, nor will it work him out privately.
Source says Vikings not expected to have Blake Bortles visit Minnesota or schedule private workout Got plenty watching/meeting him at Pro Day
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) April 22, 2014
It could be that the team saw enough of Bortles during his Pro Day. We’ll find out for sure in about two weeks.
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