Vikings Draft the ‘Russell Wilson QB’

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Sixty-two years ago, the Boston Patriots drafted a man named Fran Tarkenton in the 5th Round of the AFL Draft. He eventually landed with the Vikings.

In 2023, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was on the prowl for a developmental quarterback, and he found his guy from — you guessed it — Round 5 on Saturday.

Vikings Draft the ‘Russell Wilson QB’

Minnesota drafted 25-year-old quarterback Jaren Hall from BYU, the 164th pick of the event.

Vikings Draft the
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The Vikings opted not to extend Kirk Cousins’ contract in March, signaling a possible parting of ways with the soon-to-be 35-year-old next March. Cousins could still be extended at any time, but most Vikings fans believed the team’s front office would draft some type of quarterback in the draft, whether early or late. Hall, in the 5th Round, meets in the middle.

Hall was the prospect compared to Russell Wilson two weeks ago by ESPN. With consultation from NFL executives and scouts, ESPN labeled comparisons for 13 quarterbacks in this year’s draft, and for Hall, he’s evidently a replica of Wilson — the exemplary version from the Seattle days.

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After attaching the Wilson label on him, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote about Hall, “Next in a line of NFL passers from BYU, Hall completed 66% of his passes for 3,171 yards, 31 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 games last season. He was erratic at the Senior Bowl, where he was hampered by an ankle injury, but showed a variety of on-time throws at his pro day.”

Fowler continued with a few bits of commentary from league personalities, “He has the most going for him in [this tier],’ an NFL scouting executive said. ‘Mentally sharp, accurate.’ Added a personnel director: ‘Good kid, pretty good athlete, good arm, longtime backup, can maybe get you out of a few games.’ Teams had positive experiences with Hall in meetings, with one veteran offensive coach pointing out, ‘The more time you spend with him, the more you like him.'”

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

Age is the knock on Hall; he’s 25, an unusually old age for a rookie quarterback, a byproduct of “the COVID year.” The BYU alumnus also batted concussions in 2019 and a hip injury in 2020. But injury concerns shouldn’t matter too much until 2024 and beyond when Hall would eye QB1 duty if Cousins departs. And that’s assuming he’s any good at the NFL level in the first place. The Vikings pulled off a similar experiment in 2021 with a more promising prospect in Kellen Mond, and that emphatically flamed out.

Hall reportedly scored in the 93rd percentile on the S2 cognition test, which ranks third among quarterbacks in the last two drafts.

At BYU, Hall produced 51 passing touchdowns in the last two years to just 11 interceptions — in 22 games. He also ran for 6 paydirts and fired up a receiving touchdown, too.

Here’s a draft hype video.

Hall has all the raw physical tools to become successful, with age and the injury resume as the drawbacks.

It’ll be up to Kevin O’Connell to develop and determine his ceiling.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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