How does the re-signing of quarterback Matt Cassel impact the Vikings draft plans? We'll likely never truly know because we didn't know what the team's draft intentions were before the Cassel re-signing and we won't know what the post-Cassel re-signing intentions are until the draft has concluded.
But that doesn't mean we can't speculate on it.
Without Cassel, or another veteran to replace his spot on the roster, the pressure would've been on to find a young quarterback capable of stepping in from Day One. But with Cassel back in the fold, the Vikings don't need their chosen young quarterback to be an immediate starter.
Does that mean the team will not take a quarterback at No. 8? Not necessarily. If the Vikings are on the clock at No. 8 and a quarterback they love is there and is worthy of such a high selection, they would still be wise to strike. That quarterback could beat Cassel for the job, and if he doesn't win the job he will learn for a year or so under a wise veteran who knows how to prepare as a NFL passer.
If the Vikings do pass on a quarterback at No. 8, their options are still plentiful:
-- They could use their second-round pick (No. 40 overall) and pair it with additional picks to move back into the end of the first round to select a quarterback, similar to what they did in 2012 to acquire Harrison Smith and in 2013 to nab Cordarrelle Patterson.
-- If that kind of trade can't be consummated, the Vikings could stay at No. 40 and take a quarterback there, having him develop for a year under Cassel.
-- Or they could take the best non-quarterback available at No. 40 and use their third-round pick (or a later-round pick) on a quarterback to develop.
Essentially, the re-signing of Cassel does something very good for the Vikings as it relates to their draft plans – it gives them flexibility and, thus, unpredictability.