Vikings Have an ‘Underrated Talented’ Player

Nick Muse greets campers onto the field during the 2nd Annual Muse Boys 3rd-9th Grade Football Camp Friday morning, June 23, 2023, on the practice field next to Lineberger Stadium on the campus of South Point High School in Belmont. © Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK.

A loss in the second preseason contest sent the Minnesota Vikings to a 0-2 record in the meaningless standings. Kevin O’Connell still hasn’t won a preseason game. Safety Lewis Cine made some nice plays and showed improvement one week after the opener, just like quarterback Jaren Hall.

Vikings Have an ‘Underrated Talented’ Player

underrated talented
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Nick Mullens was the starting quarterback, with Kirk Cousins standing on the sidelines where he couldn’t get hurt. Veteran Mullens is the backup QB and, despite Hall’s improvements, isn’t threatened to lose that job anytime soon. He has shown to be a fine backup, although he won’t go out and set the league on fire if Cousins had to miss a game or two because of injury.

He logged a stat line of 151 yards without any touchdowns or interceptions while completing 13 of 23 passes. Mullens also added a sneaky good run for nine yards. The QB brought the Vikings in position to get three field goals on the scoreboard that Greg Joseph all hit.

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Almost a third of his passing yards went to one receiver, tight end Nick Muse. The sophomore has played well in the two preseason contests, proving a reliable receiving option for the Vikings. Mullens was pleased with his target and praised him when he was asked about the South Carolina product:

“I’m a big fan of Muse. Great personality on and off the field, underrated talented, great teammate, great player, and I’m a big fan of his. We have good chemistry going and hope to keep it up. He’s versatile, and that brings value.”

Through two games, Muse hauled in 6 catches for 56 yards and 1 touchdown. That touchdown grab was a great play highlight play where he got up and used his size to come down with the catch on a jump ball.

Muse was the final pick of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s 2022 draft class and the only player that didn’t stay on the roster for the whole season, but he was on the practice squad, and when Irv Smith Jr. went down, he was active and appeared in ten games on 108 special team snaps.

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The 24-year-old will have a hard time making the 53-man roster, as the top three guys are already in place. T.J. Hockenson and Josh Oliver will be heavily featured in the upcoming season because the team wants to entertain more sets with two tight ends on the field.

Third-stringer is Johnny Mundt, who has proven to be a solid blocker and underrated receiver in 2022 after following Kevin O’Connell from Los Angeles to the Vikings. The head coach recently praised him as the league’s best TE3.

O’Connell kept three tight ends last season, but Muse’s excellent performances in the preseason might push that number to four this year. If he can’t make it, the Vikings certainly hope to keep him on the practice squad and activate him if needed, but that allows other teams to poach him for no compensation.

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