From Out of Left Field, Former Vikings GM Gives a Potential QB Fit for Minnesota

Rick Spielman
Oct 29, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman arrives before an NFL International Series game against the Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are widely considered to be one of the better fits for a rookie QB in this spring’s NFL Draft.

With Kirk Cousins leaving for the Atlanta Falcons while Josh Dobbs headed out west to San Francisco, the Vikings currently employ three quarterbacks: recently signed Sam Darnold, second-year player Jaren Hall, and journeyman Nick Mullens.

Thus, many signs are pointing towards Minnesota selecting a quarterback in the draft. The question that remains: which quarterback should they take? Former Vikings GM Rick Spielman gave an interesting take on that matter.

Former Vikings GM Gives His QB Take

Vikings GM
Jun 15, 2021; in Eagen, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman looks on during drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Spielman, who contributes for The 33rd Team and CBS Sports, laid out the case for a bit of a wild card at the position: South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler.

The former general manager answered a question about Rattler’s fit with an NFL team, and at first, he connected him to San Francisco before pivoting: “Anyone coming out of that offensive system would be the best, whether it’s the Rams or whether it’s the 49ers. I would say even Minnesota.”

He added, “I don’t know if Brock Purdy would be Brock Purdy if he wasn’t in San Francisco. They have to be in the right system, in the right fight, in the right coaching. If Rattler does get in that right area, then I think he has a chance, because there’s no question about the throwing and everything like that. It’s just if he’s not in the right situation, he’s gonna fail.”

Dec 30, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second quarter in the 2022 Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports.

During the early portions of his collegiate career, Rattler was widely viewed as a top quarterback prospect whenever he eventually entered the NFL. During his first season as a starter with the Oklahoma Sooners, he completed 67.5% of his passes for 3031 yards, 28 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 11 games. Following that season, the floodgates opened in regard to takes about his NFL potential.

However, things progressively took a step backwards in the following years. In 2021, he was benched in favor of Caleb Williams, playing just nine games and throwing for 1483 yards, 11 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Rattler then left Oklahoma and transferred to South Carolina where he was put together solid but not great seasons. Over his two seasons with the Gamecocks, the quarterback completed 67.5% of his passes for 6212 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions over 25 games. South Carolina combined to go 13-12 in those games.

Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Still, the allure of how Rattler was once viewed, and the “what if” regarding whether or not that potential can be reached in the right system remains prominent. South Carolina’s defense has not done him any favors over the past two seasons, nor has he necessarily been surrounded by elite talent on the offensive side of the ball.

That would change in Minnesota. The Vikings feature a terrific receiving duo in Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson while T.J. Hockenson holds down the fort from the tight end spot. They also have an improving offensive line, anchored by stalwart tackles Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill.

Regardless, the Vikings more than likely want to try and land one of the top-tier prospects in this class. They have the capital to get a trade done, and even if they don’t trade up, they will have an opportunity to select a quarterback either with the 11th or 23rd overall picks.

If the Vikings somehow strike out on a top QB prospect, though, Rattler remains an intriguing option later on in the draft.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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