Vikings Called a “Furnished Apartment”

Drops One Hint
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The Minnesota Vikings are experiencing one of their wildest offseasons in recent history, with quarterback Kirk Cousins departing. For six years, the franchise employed the passer, but he will be the skipper of Atlanta’s offense going forward. While his exit will hurt the organization in the short term, it allows the Vikings to reset the most important position.

Vikings Called a “Furnished Apartment”

Vikings Called "Furnished Apartment"
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Finding a new franchise signal-caller is paramount for future success. That’s not easy, and not only the purple team has proven that over the years. Fran Tarkenton’s true successor hasn’t been found in five decades. The Chicago Bears have been chasing the next Sid Luckman since the 1950s, and the New York Jets have been chasing another Joe Namath since the 1970s.

Minnesota has never really spent high draft capital on a quarterback, but the other two franchises do it regularly. New Vikings QB Sam Darnold wasn’t even the highest-drafted Jets passer in the last six years. His career with the Jets highlights the importance of the surroundings for a young passer. Darnold was a talented prospect in the draft but had some mechanical issues.

Sam Darnold & Danielle Hunter
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Developing in peace to fix those struggles is crucial for a younger signal-caller. That’s one reason why Green Bay has had so much success: Their prospects sit and learn behind a starter without any pressure. By the time Jordan Love started (in his fourth season), Darnold was already axed in New York after having spent three seasons in the spotlight without good coaching, offensive lines, weapons, or time.

The Vikings must give their next quarterback that time and, just as importantly, the weapons and coaching he needs. Sure enough, the organization is in a great spot. Fox analyst Colin Cowherd talked about the Vikings’ great position and said every quarterback prospect should want to go to Minnesota.

Cowherd praised Minnesota’s situation for a young quarterback:

I think Minnesota is a great landing spot. Kevin O’Connell is a really bright coach, best receiver in the league, and an excellent number two receiver in Jordan Addison. Excellent tight end, a top-five left tackle, and they just signed Aaron Jones from the Packers. And you don’t have to start immediately. If I’m Drake Maye, Michael Penix, J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Jayden Daniels, that is really attractive in Minnesota.

Minnesota to me feels like a furnished apartment for a quarterback. Put some stuff in the fridge and you’re ready to roll. Minnesota is doing it right.

Those are all wonderful selling points. Unfortunately, the QBs can’t decide which team will choose them in the draft. Of course, though, he is right. The Vikings have an unusually good infrastructure for a young passer.

Even in a Down
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O’Connell called plays in the huddle for Joshua Dobbs, guiding him through the unknown play like the average 13-year-old playing a game of Madden on the Xbox. He also coordinated an offense that gained more than 400 yards with Nick Mullens under center. Vikings fans should be confident he can build an offense around an uber-talented rookie. His background as a former quarterback will help him understand what the quarterback needs in the game plan and in practice to master the position. QB coach and former NFL player Josh McCown is another plus.

Inserting a quarterback into an offense that features Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson is also unusual. There simply aren’t many arsenals better than that; perhaps there isn’t a better one in the league. United with O’Connell’s play-calling, those guys aren’t covered often, but even when they are, there is a decent chance one of them comes down with the ball if it is thrown his way.

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If the Vikings move to acquire a passer, he could sit behind Sam Darnold. Cowherd suggested that he could even sit for a full season if he isn’t ready. That plan will not be popular in Minnesota, but if it’s the best for the rookie, the Vikings should undoubtedly do it. Darnold is unlikely to turn into an MVP candidate suddenly, but he didn’t have the luxury of enjoying offensive surroundings like that in his previous stints in New York and Carolina. There might be some untapped potential to be at least serviceable until he hands the keys to his successor.

Regardless, the Vikings are unlikely to get one of the top prospects with their 11th overall pick. Making a splash to climb the board to draft Maye, Daniels, or McCarthy could pay big dividends. If the Vikings find a talented player, he can grow and flourish in the organization.

The first round of the draft will take place on April 25.

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