Andrew Booth Is Here

Viking Deserves More
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL fans absolutely adore labeling young players with a “bust” adjective or noun after a few games.

It’s the way folks conduct business in The Digital Age, eager to say good or bad after a simple evaluation of games or circumstances while utilizing no patience whatsoever.

Andrew Booth Is Here

Of course, that’s not everybody, but the practice is widespread on social media. Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young can tell you all about it — some are upset that he hasn’t set the world on fire in five career starts.

Then there’s Andrew Booth.

Andrew Booth Is Here
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Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spent 2nd-Round draft capital on Booth 18 months ago, and because he didn’t perform well in 2022 and didn’t win a starter’s job to start 2023, oodles of Vikings fans wrote him off entirely and declared Adofo-Mensah a terrible scout of talent.

Like many fans’ habits, the panic might’ve been premature.

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Out of nowhere, Booth experienced ample playing time in the Vikings win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, logging 26 defensive snaps and a decent 67.9 Pro Football Focus grade for his troubles. The Vikings defense held a platter of Justin Fields and Tyson Bagent to 113 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and grabbed two interceptions.

Booth registered a couple of tackles and an impressive pass break-up in the second half, while Vikings rookie cornerback Mekhi Blackmon curiously played just one snap. Blackmon had no injury announcement and had played 114 defensive snaps before Week 6.

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What does this mean? Has Booth arrived to start and effectuate his high draft stock from 2022? Perhaps. On the whole, Booth showing up to put a thumbprint on the Vikings defense is a sign of development from Booth, a shift from defensive coordinator Brian Flores, and a to be determined on Booth’s involvement in the coming weeks.

Minnesota is 2-4 through six games, clinging to playoff hopes and needing all the help it can get from, well, anybody and everybody.

Load the Box: Position Battles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The odd part about Booth was some folks’ almost eager desire to call him a bust six football games into his career. The commentary was as plentiful as it was unexplainable. NFL players frequently need time to acclimate, but for Booth, he fetched intense criticism, along with his general manager, with some even anointing him “Andrew Bust Jr,” It was bizarre.

Those are examples out of hundreds.

Booth has not produced anything totally remarkable as a Viking through 12 total games, but he cannot be called a bust in good faith.

And it will remain mysterious why so many genuinely get excited to attach the bust word when a player hasn’t completed one, two, or three seasons.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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