Tom Krasovic: Kevin O'Connell's QB riddle may lead Vikings to Michigan's J.J. McCarthy

Tom Krasovic, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Football

SAN DIEGO — Before we dive into the quarterback search by Carlsbad's own Kevin O'Connell, please take this disclaimer to heart:

Two years ago leading into the NFL draft, who knew Brock Purdy had such a great football mind?

The answer, courtesy of the Brothers Harbaugh: "Noobody!"

Even the 49ers had their doubts. It wasn't until the draft's last call, No. 262, that they chose him.

Eight other QBs went before Purdy, an agile passer who'd started 46 straight games for Iowa State but stood 6-foot and had so-so arm strength.

Good luck divining if a college QB has the vision and smarts to read and react to the NFL game with speed and clarity.


"It's darn near impossible" to project "processing" aptitude, said former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah last week.

O'Connell, 38, gets paid to improve tall NFL odds.

He played quarterback at La Costa Canyon High School and across four seasons at San Diego State under former college QBs Tom Craft and Chuck Long. In the NFL he worked under bright lights such as QB Tom Brady, head coaches Bill Belichick and Sean McVay and line coach Bill Callahan.

Now entering his third season as the Minnesota Vikings' head coach, O'Connell, 38, partners with brainy General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, a former Ivy League basketball player who holds economics degrees from Princeton and Stanford.


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