The Minnesota Vikings and Michigan State Spartans are in the final week of their 2016 season and they’re looking to take another step in their search for a quarterback.
The Vikings are in a position to select a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft, but their quest for a franchise quarterback has only intensified with the emergence of Connor Cook and Sam Bradford.
It has been a long road to find a quarterback for the Vikings to draft, as they struggled mightily in the NFL last season, finishing with a 7-8 record and one playoff win.
“It’s just the same thing you guys are saying, ‘What do we need?’
We need a quarterback,” said coach Mike Zimmer.
“We’ve got to find that guy.
There’s only so many times that a guy’s gonna be there for us.
I think the only thing we’re doing right now is, we’re getting better.
I really do believe that.
It’s been a year, but we’re still trying to improve.”
The Vikings drafted Cook, a redshirt freshman from San Diego State, with the No. 1 overall pick.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Cook is coming off a big year, starting five games and throwing for 2,958 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Cook was one of the top quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class and was the best quarterback on the Spartans’ roster last season.
The second-year player out of San Diego has an excellent arm and was ranked as the No 1 quarterback by ESPN’s College Football Playoff rankings.
He’s also a solid runner and completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 2.2 yards per attempt.
When Cook and Bradford are healthy, the Vikings can be a dangerous offense.
The duo combined for more than 1,200 yards of total offense last season and averaged 27.3 points per game.
After a disappointing 2016 season, the Spartans returned to prominence last season with the arrival of quarterback Sam Bradford, who led the team to a bowl game and a berth in the College Football Playoffs.
Bradford threw for 3,971 yards and 28 touchdowns with 15 interceptions, completing 70.3 percent of passes.
The former Notre Dame star has also developed into a reliable passer.
He was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.
Bradford also led the Spartans to a Super Bowl appearance, but was unable to put the team in the playoffs because of injuries to several key players.
The team could use another star quarterback to pair with Cook.
The Spartans also have a pair of high-profile offensive tackles, Austin Pasztor and Jack Conklin, who combined for 11 sacks and 14 forced fumbles last season for the Spartans.
Pasztorsa and Conklins combined for 1,828 tackles, 27 sacks and four forced fumblings last season while leading the Spartans offensive line to a 13-3 record.
There’s a chance the Vikings could target a quarterback from the University of Florida who was ranked No. 13 by ESPN.
Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya was a first-round pick of the Vikings in 2016 and started his collegiate career in the Florida Football Bowl as the team’s starting quarterback.
He played in 10 games as a true freshman, throwing for 1-5, 201 yards and a touchdown in two starts.
Kaaya is now a starter for the Miami Dolphins and has a contract that runs through the 2019 season.
If the Vikings find a good quarterback in this draft, it could be Kaaya, who will be an unrestricted free agent next season.
Minnesota’s search for the franchise quarterback will continue through the draft.
Stay tuned to NFL.com for the latest on the Minnesota Vikings’ search for quarterback.