The Rookie Is Looking Good in Vikings Training Camp

rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall's first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Minnesota found Hall in Round 5 of the event, and he could serve as QB3 in 2023.

Training camp began this week, and the Vikings began to evaluate all their rookies. Their first action will be in Seattle in the first preseason contest on August 10th, one month before the regular season kicks off. One of those intriguing rookies is quarterback Jaren Hall who was drafted in the fifth round by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. It is now on the coaching staff to get him up to speed with the professional game.

The Rookie Is Looking Good in Vikings Training Camp

Kevin O’Connell is a former NFL quarterback. He is in the building to identify and develop the next franchise passer for the time after Kirk Cousins, which could be as soon as next year as the veteran is in his contract year and the extension talks are on pause.

The Rookie Is Looking Good in Vikings Training Camp
Nov 26, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) runs the ball against the Stanford Cardinal during the second half at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Hall was a late-round pick. Those rarely amount to more than a career as a backup. However, there are some exceptions, and one of them has been the starter in Minnesota since 2018. Dak Prescott is another one. It occasionally happens that a team finds an excellent QB on the third day of the draft, and it is on the coaching staff to develop Hall to see if he’s one of them.

Through two practice days with media members in attendance, Hall has already received his fair share of recognition. Alec Lewis opined on Twitter: “A quick thought from Vikings camp: QB Jaren Hall looked very solid today. Two really impressive throws. A back shoulder, then a touch ball on a crossing route toward the sideline.”

Will Ragatz added: “Vikings rookie QB Jaren Hall looked sharp today. Even in somewhat limited reps, he made a handful of impressive throws.”

The Alluring Factor
Sep 24, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) drops back to pass the ball against the Wyoming Cowboys in the first quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

Judd Zulgad said in a video on Twitter: “Jaren Hall has a legit arm. Jaren Hall has made some nice throws. Looks pretty solid for a couple of days in.”

Having multiple reports coming out from different reporters is a good sign. The first-year player talked about his expectations or lack thereof when he was asked if “soaking all in” from Cousins was his first goal:

Absolutely. No expectations. The goal is to get better; the goal is to have value on the team somehow. Soak it all up as much as possible and carry that over to next year.

Jaren Hall

It surely doesn’t sound like Hall expects to be the starting quarterback anytime soon. The good news is that he doesn’t have to be and can indeed look forward to competing next year for the potential open starting gig. Cousins is the starter in 2023, Mullens is a fine backup, and Hall can just sit and learn from the two without seeing the field. The playbook and play calls are his toughest challenge.

What if a Kirk Cousins
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) run onto the field for warmup prior to their game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

A lot more schemes, and a lot more concepts that we run here, so just getting used to those and experience has been the biggest difference…Just understanding how Kirk and Nick both how they are taking these words, and how they are calling plays, that’s the biggest difference for me right now. Football is all the same, compete, but calling the plays in the huddle is not those signals from the sideline anymore. So understanding how they use their phones to do it and just ways to get familiar with the words is the most important way to do that.

Jaren Hall

Hall is drawing praise for his maturity. Of course, entering the draft at age 25 helps. However, an NFL playbook is not comparable to what he had to deal with at BYU, and there is a learning curve to it.

The QB started for two years in college and succeeded Zach Wilson, the former second-overall pick. In those two seasons and some reps in 2019, he passed for 6,174 yards, 52 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. His 800 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground show his mobility and ability to be a dual threat.

Feb 2, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; National quarterback Jaren Hall of Brigham Young (3) practices during the third day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports.

Hall doesn’t want to be a runner. He scrambles out of the pocket to find a way to throw. Running is only the last resort. That is the preferred play style in today’s NFL, as it combines the skills of a mobile quarterback and a pocket passer. Poise, decision-making, solid accuracy, and athleticism are his calling cards.

Expectations should still be low for Hall, especially in his rookie season, but seeing him do well in training camp is still encouraging. Fans will see him in action in the first preseason contest, and if he continues his strong summer, who knows what the Vikings plan to do with him long-term.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt