Let the Jaren Hall Show Commence
The Minnesota Vikings are set to take on the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night to kick off their preseason slate. Kirk Cousins isn’t going to get run in this game, and Nick Mullens doesn’t need a substantial amount of practice. Let the Jaren Hall show commence.
The Vikings have been seeking an option to take over for Kirk Cousins over the past handful of years. In 2023, Cousins is playing out the final year of his contract in Minnesota. It remains to be seen if an extension happens, but eventually a new quarterback will be under center. It wasn’t Kellen Mond, but could it be Jaren Hall?
Instead of trading with the San Francisco 49ers for their quarterback Trey Lance, Minnesota made a swap for a fifth round pick that wound up being BYU signal caller, Jaren Hall. He was seen as among the better mid-round options at the position during the draft, and Hall represents Kevin O’Connell’s first opportunity to mold a young quarterback.
A former quarterback himself, seeing O’Connell have the opportunity to be involved with the future direction at the position is exciting. Cousins predates O’Connell’s existence with the Vikings, and one would hope O’Connell will outlast him under center as well. For that to happen, the development of a new option must take place, and Hall seems like a moldable talent.
Playing 12 games for the Cougars last year, Jaren Hall threw for over 3,100 yards while putting up 31 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Hall is a good athlete that also played baseball for BYU, and while he doesn’t have elite arm strength and is a bit undersized, he has some ability to move within the pocket. He’s an ideal play-action quarterback, and does a good job reading the field. Accuracy is something to his credit, and Thursday night gives him the first chance to show it off.
No matter what happens against the Seahawks, Hall likely won’t be moving up the Vikings depth chart. He’s entrenched as the third quarterback, likely suiting up as the “emergency” QB3 in case both Cousins and Mullens both leave a game with injury. Hopefully, he won’t see action in such a scenario during the regular season. That being said, a strong showing will give him something to build on as Minnesota works through their three preseason games, and the first one should see him play something like a full half.
The Vikings haven’t had a moldable quarterback for years, and despite Kellen Mond fitting that category, former head coach Mike Zimmer was quick to point out how poor he looked in practice. O’Connell is probably more likely to build Hall up, and showing well during his first professional experience would make that a much more straightforward line of reasoning.
It’s lofty to believe that a fifth-round quarterback will translate into a franchise cornerstone, but there are plenty of examples where a team hits on value. First-round quarterbacks get all of the glory, but they also flop the hardest when things go sideways. Expectations are understandably muted for Hall, which means he should feel an even greater reason to play free and loose.
One game isn’t going to be a significant indicator, but Hall can grab momentum and attempt to keep it on his side going through practice next week. The time to show things off in game action has come, and that means the Jaren Hall show can commence.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.