Three QBs to Remember in the Draft for our Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings, as we’ve previously explained, don’t have a great solution at backup quarterback. Sean Mannion, God bless him, is not a good NFL quarterback; he is still unsigned. Nate Stanley and Jake Browning are Minnesota’s other two options, but it’s unlikely either is ready to be Minnesota’s backup in the 2021 season. Ask yourself: if Captain Kirk goes down, would you be confident in Mannion (if he was re-signed), Stanley, or Browning? I’ve been wrong before (too many times to count), but I wouldn’t be overly confident.
The Vikings’ front office and coaching staff have a different knowledge of the roster than we do. It would be deeply concerning if they didn’t. There is a case to be made, then, that perhaps they see something about these quarterbacks that we don’t. Even still, the lack of attention to backup quarterback makes one wonder if the actual solution rests in the draft rather than in the options currently available to our friends in purple. The Vikings certainly have the draft capital to make a move, so let’s see who might be a reasonable option in the middle of the draft.
The Minnesota Vikings, The Draft, and Backup Quarterback
Kyle Trask: There are some rumblings that Trask may sneak into the first round. ‘Tis the season for such rumblings. Should Trask slide into the mid-rounds, as he should, then Minnesota might be very interested.
The 6’5, 239 pound quarterback comes in as The Draft Network‘s 117th-ranked prospect. Let me know if this description reminds you of someone we know: “A decisive and quick operator, he’s a highly intelligent thrower that often attacks with a plan. He has thorough knowledge and smarts to attack all three levels of the field, as he’s experienced reads in many different manners. A “grip it and rip it” thrower of quick game concepts on the perimeter, he’s at his best when on schedule and able to take advantage of leverage throws. Trask’s biggest challenges come the further down the field and when forced to play outside of the normal structure of the offense. A slew-footed operator, he doesn’t have the athleticism necessary to consistently make off-script plays.”
TDN‘s description certainly evokes memories of Cousins. There is some merit in having someone with a similar style. Should something happen to the starter, the Minnesota Vikings could turn to their backup quarterback without needing to change the offense in a substantial manner.
Kellen Mond: Minnesota was at Mond’s pro day. TDN praises Mond’s proficiency in the short to intermediate range. The Vikings are unlikely to pull a Gregor Samsa and morph into Kansas City during the offseason, so the short and intermediate level remains the most important thing for their offense.
One also gets the sense that Mond is a fierce competitor, great leader, and hard worker. All of these traits are ideal for a backup quarterback (or anyone, for that matter). TDN does note that Mond is “strictly a shotgun/pistol quarterback who’s had all of his experience there.” That’s a definite hit against Mond since the Vikings ask their QB to be under center on a consistent basis.
Nevertheless, the Vikings still thought he could fit, as evidenced by their desire to be at his pro day. Taking some time to be a backup behind one of the most intelligent, studious QBs in the NFL could be an ideal scenario for Mond.
Davis Mills: If you hop over to Bullock’s Film Room (great site), you’ll find an informative article about Mills. Mills, according to Mark Bullock, is a QB with some great attributes: “The timing and accuracy are two great traits for a quarterback to possess, but his best trait is his anticipation. Mills has a strong understanding of both his offense and what the defense is doing to defend it.”
Bullock goes on to note that injuries undermined Mills during college, but that he was a former five-star recruit: “The standout traits when watching Mills is his timing, anticipation and accuracy. He’s a quarterback that fully understands his offense, knowing where his receivers are meant to be and using smooth footwork that allows him to anticipate breaks and deliver accurate passes that maximise separation.” Personally, I love swinging for the fences in the middle rounds. A supremely talented player who needs some injury luck? I’m interested.
Adding a talented, young quarterback to grow and learn behind Kirk makes a ton of sense. It’s unlikely, but Kirk can get hurt, so a backup QB is important. Even if he doesn’t need to start, though, a backup quarterback might bring value in an indirect manner. We might refer to this phenomenon as The Jordan Love Effect.
Last season, the Packers made the peculiar decision to draft Jordan Love in the opening round. Aaron Rodgers went on to have a dominant season. Now, I need to acknowledge that I’m comparing apples and oranges. Rodgers is a future HOF player, and Love was a first-round selection. Cousins is a solid pro and we’re discussing a pick in the mid rounds. Nevertheless, I think I can push my point. The Jordan Love Effect could still apply in Minnesota (albeit to a lesser extent).
Drafting a young, upside player could motivate Cousins, igniting a strong season where Kirk shows he is The Man. In the meantime, the backup quarterback would give Minnesota Vikings fans some much-needed assurance that our season isn’t doomed if a backup needs to play.