Vikings Fans Breathe A Sigh Of Relief; Nick Mullens Is A Solid Backup Quarterback

August 22, 2022
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The backup QB position in the NFL never seems to be important, until of course, it is. The Vikings know this better than anyone, and recent acquisition Nick Mullens proves they don’t want history to repeat itself.

Sometimes You Need Your Backup To Get A Win

Sean Mannion was called upon once to make a start in place of Kirk Cousins last season. It did not go well. The Vikings lost 37-10 to the Packers in Lambeau, dropping their record to 7-9 at the time. Now, I am not going to put that loss entirely on Mannion, but he threw for less than 200 yards and only one touchdown.

The fact of the matter is that he did not WIN the game for the Vikings. This was a crucial Week 17 matchup, where a win would have given the Vikes a chance at the playoffs. The Vikings only missed a wild card berth by one game. Again, I am not going to say the whole season was lost because Mannion had to start in place of Cousins, but he wasn’t good enough to keep pace with the Packers offense. The Vikings need a backup QB who can come in and produce. Injuries (and COVID) are something that all teams deal with, and although Kirk Cousins has been very durable during his tenure in Minnesota, he is not immune to missing time. Would Nick Mullens have led the Vikings to victory against the Packers last season? Probably not, but I think he improves our chances.

Nick Mullens Represents Effort From The Vikings’ Front Office

Trading a 2024 seventh-round pick is nothing compared to the value of having a serviceable backup QB. This move shows the Vikings fanbase that the front office is not content with settling for Mannion or Kellen Mond. Vikings fans all preseason have been clamoring for a new backup, and it looks like they have been heard.

Sean Mannion is the typical conservative backup. He is going to protect the football, but not exactly light up an opposing secondary. Kellen Mond looks like he has some tools to be a good quarterback in this league, but is not progressing fast enough for a team that wants to compete now. Nick Mullens, on the other hand, has 17 starts to his name. Granted, he only has five wins in those starts, but we are talking backups here, people. Mullens has averaged over 240 yards/game throughout his career and at least has the poise to play in a meaningful game and give his team a chance to win.

If Nick Mullens Is Such A Good Backup, Why Did The Raiders Trade Him Away?

This trade was a sensible one for both parties involved. If you want to put a letter grade to it, check out this article at cbssports.com.

Jarrett Stidham has been decent this preseason for the Raiders, and he has the edge having played under Josh McDaniels in the past. This move signifies that Stidham has secured the second-string spot in Las Vegas. Further, Nick Mullens is a quality, proven backup quarterback. There is no way he wouldn’t be picked up by another team if he was to be cut to the practice squad. The Raiders, then, are quite content to get something for him, even if it is just a seventh-round pick.

https://www.pntrac.com/t/4-481235-279750-55814

What Happens To Mannion And Mond?

Both Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond have given Vikings fans cause for concern this preseason. Mond has had a few good moments, but both have been generally unimpressive. I am operating under the assumption that this trade for Nick Mullens means that both Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond will be cut. I’m sure they will still each get a chance in the final preseason game to show out, but this trade signals that the Vikings front office is ready for change.

I do believe the team would like to keep them on the practice squad if another team doesn’t claim them, but I don’t see the logic of keeping either of them on as a number three. I think we have enough depth and talent at other positions (RB, for example), to warrant only keeping two QBs. Other teams may scoop up these guys, but that is a risk we have to take.

How About Some More Good News? This Is A Contender

I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so concerned about our backup quarterback situation. I think last season I should have been concerned but didn’t pay attention to it until we threw Mannion out there against the Pack.

The good news here is that this means we have a really good team. The backup quarterback position was a glaring hole, but I think most will be optimistic now that Nick Mullens has been brought in. And if finding a competent second-string quarterback was our most significant need, then we should feel really good about our roster to start the season.

Do you like this trade? Should we have gone after someone else? Let me know, @Jlime8 on Twitter. And be sure to check out Stadium Rant on Twitter for more great sports content!