Nick Mullens Is a Safe but Unexciting Option for Vikings

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Nick Mullens

After taking a week off and returning to action following the ugly Chicago Bears game, the Minnesota Vikings came out and found a way to look even worse against the Oakland Raiders. Josh Dobbs found himself on the bench, and Nick Mullens took over. That should be the presumed plan going forward, but it leaves plenty to be desired.

Nick Mullens Is a Safe but Unexciting Option for Vikings

Despite Josh Dobbs looking terrible for an entire half, that wasn’t enough for head coach Kevin O’Connell to make a switch at the quarterback position. Dobbs was under center coming out of the locker room and was given even more run to look inept under center.

Unexciting Option
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When O’Connell finally switched to Mullens, which took entirely too long, Minnesota still found themselves in a winnable contest. Brian Flores’ defense has continued to show up all year, and despite the Vikings watching players drop like flies, that group kept the Raiders off the board.

Now, looking ahead to a road matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota will need to keep winning if they want to remain in charge of their playoff destiny. It can be argued that Mullens gives them the best chance to do that, but Jaren Hall is an unknown commodity and may present much more of an upside.

It is fair to assume that had Mullens not been on injured reserve when Kirk Cousins went down with an Achilles injury, Hall would have never started, and Dobbs never would have been acquired. Hall stepped in for just a brief bit of action prior to suffering a concussion, and just like that, his opportunity vanished.

Mullens was acquired as a legitimate backup option behind Cousins before the 2022 season. He had gotten real run as the starter in a pair of seasons with San Francisco, but the results were hardly noteworthy. Going 5-11 as the starter, he put up a lackluster 25/22 TD/INT ratio. It shouldn’t have been expected that he would be the answer, and the results indicated that.

Warm Up to Nick
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Now, amid a playoff run, the sole reason behind him being the guy for Minnesota is experience. He has seen NFL action and has performed in those games. The results are thrown out the window, and he’s benefited from a good team around him. Any ceiling for production should seemingly be ignored because the floor is perceived to be safe.

That notion ignores that, while unexpected to play this season, Hall could be expected to produce similar results. The former BYU quarterback is a mobile talent with some level of upside. It’s not just about the Vikings seeing what they have in the youngster but allowing themselves to play a difference maker at the position.

Feel for Jaren
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Of course, O’Connell has seen Hall in action during practice throughout the season, and maybe that’s indicative enough of how things would go. If there is no belief that he could perform better than whatever should be expected of Mullens, then there isn’t going to be much of a career in store for him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem we’ll get a chance to see Hall prove otherwise, and that means Mullens better get it right.

The Vikings will roll with a veteran, as they have been with Dobbs, and no amount of previous Mullens results seems to stop them. Pinning their playoff hopes on that decision, they best get it right or risk being left out and making a safe choice look wildly incorrect.

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.