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Frazier sends mixed signals about quarterback interest early in draft

NFL Holds Annual Meetings Amid Lockout

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22: Minnisota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier answers questions from the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 22, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting it’s annual owners meeting in New Orleans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Last month, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier suggested that his team could use a first- or second-round pick in the 2011 draft on a quarterback. More recently, he has clarified his remarks.

“The only thing I was saying about that is that would be ideal,” Frazier said, per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “That’s the term I used. But you don’t want to get to the point where you’re reaching for a player just because you have what you perceive as a need at quarterback. We want to get the best player that’s available and if the quarterback we like is not there you can’t just say, ‘OK, we’re going to take that guy because he plays quarterback.’ We have other needs other than that position. We’ve got to be smart. . . . When we sit down and go through all the scenarios we’re going to try to take the best player that’s available for us at whatever spot we take him.”

In other words, no one knows what the Vikings will do -- and thus they’ll be able to claim after the first two rounds that they got the guys they really wanted. Regardless of whether they actually do.

Either way, the Vikings need a quarterback. Drafted last year to be a receiver, Joe Webb has a ton of potential as a quarterback, but it’s still unclear whether he could be “the guy.” And in 2011 it could end up being very difficult to get a rookie quarterback ready to play, given the lockout.

Then again, the Vikings also need to break the cycle of searching for a veteran who can’t provide a short-term and long-term answer at the position.

In the end, the biggest factor should be whether, as of April 28 when the draft begins, the Vikings believe that a young quarterback will have a fair chance to prepare to play this season. If the answer is yes, they should seriously consider drafting a quarterback in round one or two. If the answer is no, they should prepare to make a run at Kevin Kolb or Carson Palmer or Donovan McNabb whoever else they can find whenever the new league year begins.

And if they can’t find anyone who’s currently in the league, there’s always Hattiesburg.

We’re kidding. We think.