Most of the projections for TCU's Andy Dalton have him going late in the first or somewhere in the third round, however in ESPN's NFL blogger mock draft Dalton is selected at the 12 spot to the Minnesota Vikings. That is the highest of any mock draft around on the web. The pick was made by NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert who does bring some logic to the pick:
About five minutes after filing my pick, a colleague called and (jokingly, I think) asked how I felt about taking a third-round player with the No. 12 overall pick. That sentiment helps illustrate my first reason for taking any quarterback, let alone Dalton, at this spot.
The quarterback position has grown to the point where it can't be valued along the same lines as other positions. I don't have an exact formula for the comparison. But to me, having merely an above-average quarterback is more important than having a 10-sack man at defensive end or a 10-year fixture at left tackle. Without competent quarterback play, those 10 sacks and that stability on the line can carry a team only so far.
He makes some good points, but if the Vikings want Dalton they would be smart to trade down if they can to take Dalton late in the first round or move back up to the back end of the first round to secure Dalton.
The Vikings have been playing the Brett Favre experiment and currently have Tarvaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Rhett Romar and Patrick Ramsay. There is no reason to believe that Dalton could not come in and compete for the starting job with the Vikings. With the lockout going on it will be difficult for rookies -- especially quarterbacks -- to see significant playing time early in the season if there are limited or even no off-season programs, no contact with coaches or receive a playbook to learn the plays.
We will see where Dalton ends up, but I highly doubt he will be taken in the top-15.