The Vikings have swung and missed repeatedly in finding a guy that could carry the weight of the franchise at the quarterback position. They've come close a couple times, most notably with Daunte Culpepper, but things always seemed to unravel quickly and Minnesota was forced to use a string of has beens and stop gaps at football's most important position.
While the Vikings have struggled to find their guy, the rest of the division hasn't had the same problem. The Chicago Bears were able to acquire Jay Cutler, the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford and the Green Bay Packers had Aaron Rodgers fall into their lap immediately after enjoying the career of Brett Favre.
By this situation, one would figure that the Vikings are due to get a quarterback of that caliber. Fortunately for them, that quarterback exists in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Derek Carr is widely considered a top-ten pick in this year's draft class after a terrific senior season at Fresno State. While displaying an arm that would make Christian Ponder wonder in amazement, he was able to lead the Bulldogs to an 11-2 record while throwing for 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Carr has the intangibles and the ability to become the Vikings' next franchise quarterback if he falls to the eighth pick in the draft. He would be an immediate upgrade over Ponder and would be able to correct his flaws if Minnesota's next head coach can pair him with a solid offensive coordinator.
Many will be turned off because of the failure of his brother, David, but the Vikings have the talent to help make sure this won't happen. By relying on Adrian Peterson on the ground and using Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings to their full potential, Derek can make the quick rise to superstardom his brother couldn't.
With the team's recent struggles, it will be important to find a franchise quarterback to keep up with their superior division rivals. If they can get Carr, that hole will be filled and the Vikings can compete in a wide open NFC North.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Vikings follower that has seen triumph and heartbreak for the franchise over 27 seasons. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
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- Fran Tarkenton
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- Daunte Culpepper