Ex-Vikings QB Offers High Praise for Jaren Hall

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is under contract for one more season, his sixth in Minnesota. In addition to that, he is 35 years old, and a drop-off can happen at any point. For those reasons, the franchise was viewed as one that could potentially target a passer early in the draft, but they passed on Will Levis and Hendon Hooker to select wideout Jordan Addison.

Ex-Vikings QB Offers High Praise for Jaren Hall

Ex-Vikings QB Offers High Praise for Jaren Hall
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

But they didn’t leave the draft without a passer and picked Jaren Hall in the fifth round. Those late-round QBs are always a long shot to become starting QBs in the NFL, but it happens occasionally. Cousins was a fourth-rounder and has done pretty well in his career.

Like Cousins, who was drafted to back up Robert Griffin III in 2012, Hall doesn’t enter the building with the expectation of producing on the field anytime soon. He is set to enter a true redshirt year. Still, it is a good sign that he made the 53-man roster and is set to function as the emergency quarterback behind Cousins and backup Nick Mullens.

Former Vikings QB Kyle Sloter watched the tape of Hall’s preseason games and opined on his performances on X:

“QB Jaren Hall for the Vikings may have taken one of the biggest steps forward in the NFL in preseason week 3. Thought he played with much better timing and rhythm and made great decisions coupled with accurate balls. Being able to throw accurately without having his feet set makes the degree of difficulty on this throw through the roof. Easy to see why the Vikings kept him on the 53.”

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Had GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah waived Hall with the intention of stashing him on the practice squad, a different team could’ve poached him via waiver claim. Sloter is a preseason star in his own right and still an urban legend in Minnesota. His last stints led him to various franchises in developmental leagues.

Hall indeed always looked much more comfortable than in the previous game throughout the preseason. Having the luxury to play with the second-team offense certainly helped, as the receivers and the blockers were better than those in the third team.

The rookie completed 16 of 27 passes for 178 yards and had one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 21 yards on six carries and appeared to be the best QB from a running standpoint the Vikings had in a while.

The play on which he flashed outstanding ability was the one that sealed the loss when he scrambled out of the pocket and completed a ridiculous pass to Ben Sims. Unfortunately, he was over the line of scrimmage, and the play didn’t count. A rookie mistake, but still nice to see his talent flash like that.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell wants to be patient with his project: “My philosophy when you’re going to draft a quarterback, I think you pour into him on a daily basis. Development is a huge word, but I love the fact that we got him as many reps as we did this camp. I feel like Jaren has a really good understanding of our offense, where he can grow, where his comfort level can grow, and hopefully hit the ground running the next opportunity that he gets.”

It is unclear how the Vikings plan with Hall in the future, and it surely depends on which other QBs are on the roster next season. If Cousins leaves in free agency and the organization doesn’t draft a top prospect, they might allow Hall to compete for a starting job, similar to what the Washington Commanders have been doing with Sam Howell, who was a fifth-round pick in 2022 and is now starting.

Hall is 25 years old, but his NFL career has just started. Improvement is always good to see, and if he can continue to trend up, the Vikings will have a lot of fun with their passer.

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