Report: Vikings GM Rick Spielman to watch Pitt QB Kenny Pickett vs. UNC QB Sam Howell

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Kirk Cousins’ contract runs out after 2022. With the Vikings’ short-term window appearing to be shrinking, Minnesota GM Rick Spielman is doing his due diligence in evaluating 2022 quarterback prospects.

Spielman is among more than 30 NFL personnel in attendance for the Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina game, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN. Why? Because Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett and North Carolina QB Sam Howell are both enticing prospects for next year’s NFL draft.

Besides Spielman, there are four general managers in attendance: Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Mike Mayock (Raiders), George Paton (Broncos) and Howie Roseman (Eagles), per Mortensen.

The Vikings landing an enticing quarterback on a rookie contract would improve the long-term outlook of this team. Minnesota drafted Kellen Mond in the third round of this year’s draft. Mond has promise, but he did not show much of it during the 2021 preseason.

Neither Pickett nor Howell are heavily featured in the first rounds of notable mock drafts at the moment. Although, Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling did a mock draft recently that had Pickett landing at No. 22 overall. A lot can change before April, too. If either raises their stock in Week 11 of the college football season, Spielman will at least be in attendance.