INDIANAPOLIS — Leslie Frazier doesn’t see the Vikings as a rebuilding team. It’s a determination that will play a part in which route the team takes in resolving its biggest offseason question: Who will start at quarterback?
The Vikings will return second-year pro Joe Webb, but Frazier has made it clear that the team will seek a quarterback in the draft for new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to develop.
Frazier told reporters Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine that Musgrave was brought on board to help the quarterback situation.
“Bill has experience in a situation like this coming from Atlanta, where they went through this process to determine who will be their quarterback of the future just a few years ago,” Frazier said, alluding to the Falcons’ selection of Matt Ryan.
“Bill had a lot to do with that as they evaluated who was going to be their next quarterback,” Frazier added. “That was one of the things that intrigued me about Bill when we were trying to make the decision about who would be our offensive coordinator. His vast experience in playing the game, then his background in developing a young quarterback. It won’t be foreign territory for Bill. It’s something he’s gone through before. I think we’ll be successful in determining whether or not it’s going to be a young quarterback or a veteran quarterback.”
Aside from determining a quarterback’s physical skills, the Vikings must ascertain if he’s a natural leader who “other players want to follow,” Frazier said.
It remains to be seen if the Vikings believe they can find that player with the No. 12 pick. Could they take a second-tier quarterback in later rounds, opting for a veteran solution in the short-term? Or take both routes?
I sought out Frazier following his media session to talk about the belief that the team’s window to win remains open and how it will impact the decision at quarterback.
“It matters,” Frazier said. “It’s a fact in how we go about it, even in what we see in a young guy or not. Even if we take a quarterback, that doesn’t mean that we’re saying this means we’re going to be a 6-10 team or an 8-8 team because we took a quarterback and he ends up being our starting quarterback. We don’t feel like we’re that far away.”
The Vikings clearly believe they are built to win now. But that also means the team is facing dual ultimatums of finding a quarterback for the future, as well as the present. Unless they believe there’s a player in this draft who can be both.