There’s a New QB in Town

Want This Man at QB
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The Vikings add a lot of talent to their team in the 2023 draft, especially at some crucial positions. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafted Jordan Addison in the first round, a new target for QB Kirk Cousins.

On the second draft day, the Vikings GM selected Addison’s former teammate, Mekhi Blackmon, a new cornerback for Brian Flores. The defensive coordinator got some more help for his unit on Saturday. The first two picks were LSU defenders Jay Ward and Jaquelin Roy.

There’s a New QB in Town

There's a New QB In Town
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The Vikings also had to find a quarterback to develop behind starter Kirk Cousins, whose contract will expire after the 2023 season, his sixth season in Minnesota.

Kevin O’Connell, head coach of the Vikings, selected Jaren Hall, a quarterback from BYU. He can develop behind Cousins now and either be a backup in the future or turn into something more. Examples of late-round QB turning into good players exist, and Tom Brady isn’t the only one. Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, and Brock Purdy are some other instances.

The purple team didn’t target a quarterback early in the draft. It is a well-kept secret that they would’ve taken one of the top guys had they begun to slide down the board. We only know they didn’t pick Hendon Hooker and Will Levis. Both were available.

Hall was the starter for BYU for two seasons, recording 6,174 career passing yards, 52 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. In 2022, Hall had a career-high 31 passing TDs and only 6 INTs.

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One of the problems is his age. He is already 25 years old. However, that only matters if he is becoming really good, and we’ll be sad that he only plays for 12 years instead of 15. Hall still has some room to grow. The two starting seasons aren’t as much as his age would indicate.

Another problem is arm strength. While it’s not a disastrous level, he doesn’t have elite throwing power. That could limit his potential. On the other hand, some QBs without powerful arms had successful careers. A couple of mechanical changes could even improve his range.

Hall is an accurate thrower of the football. He can hit every route in the playbook, especially his deep ball. It’s very accurate compared to most other prospects in the draft, and he throws with good touch.

The new Vikings QB is also a decent athlete. He can be a running threat and recorded 800 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. However, he is not trying to run often. He wants to escape the pocket to pass the ball. That is the preferred way of playing the position in the NFL. His scrambles and the ability to throw on the run and create something out of a broken play are an important combination in the modern league.

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Hall is undersized, only 6’0″ and 207 pounds. That could be a problem in longevity and ability to throw over the offensive line. Some smaller QBs are better than others. It’ll be interesting to see him behind NFL trenches with elite athletes coming at him from all angles. He wasn’t pressured a lot in college.

Another potential issue is his consistency. Hall can make high-level plays, but he can also do the complete opposite. It will be a point of emphasis to be more consistent. Maybe one of the best in the business in that area, Kirk Cousins, can help him there. Cousins rarely makes mistakes in terms of mechanics and, for that reason, is one of the most accurate QB in the game.

Hall is a good pick because he has the talent to be more than just a backup. He can grow into a starting role if needed. The Vikings now have one year with him to see if he can be their guy. If not, they can just draft a different one next year, and it will only have costed a fifth-round pick.

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He needs to work on some things and is still a long shot to become a starter at any point in his career, but his chances are certainly better than some other QBs, even those drafted earlier than him.

It did not work out with Kellen Mond, but it’s worth a shot considering the reward if it’s working out. Brock Purdy will be a cheap starter for three more years for close to no salary cap hit and a late-round draft pick.

The Cowboys picked Dak Prescott and didn’t have to invest and first-rounders to replace Tony Romo. It simply makes sense to take stabs at late-round QBs, especially with an offensive-minded head coach who is a former NFL QB and can help him develop.

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