The Vikings mailbag this week delves into questions about the quarterback situation, the future of defensive standouts, and the overall outlook for the team.
Starting with safety Josh Metellus, there is speculation about a potential raise in the offseason given his significant contributions to the defense. Metellus, who signed a two-year extension worth up to $13 million before Week 1, has exceeded expectations with his versatility. He has played a pivotal role in various coverages, assuming duties as a slot corner and linebacker while ranking third in tackles. Metellus has showcased his skills with pass deflections, forced fumbles, sacks, and an interception. Despite already securing a solid payday, his performance suggests he might be deserving of further recognition and compensation.
Shifting to the quarterback situation, the mailbag explores the possibility of Jaren Hall becoming the starting quarterback after Joshua Dobbs’ struggles, which included a four-interception game. Coach Kevin O’Connell expressed openness to considering all options during the bye week. Hall, a fifth-round pick, displayed poise in his brief first start, but veteran Nick Mullens, with more NFL starts than Dobbs and Hall combined, remains a reliable option. As of now, it appears unlikely that Hall will be named the starter.
Addressing the team’s upcoming game against the Raiders, there is skepticism about whether a strong performance can truly shift the outlook for this season. Confidence needs rebuilding, especially after a loss to the Bears, and the game against the Raiders provides an opportunity for the quarterback, whoever starts, to regain momentum. The subsequent matchups against vulnerable defenses in Cincinnati and Detroit could further contribute to rebuilding confidence.
The mailbag also tackles the question of what happened to Josh Dobbs and the factors contributing to his drop in performance. Opposing defenses have prioritized containing Dobbs’ mobility, adopting disciplined rush patterns to keep him in the pocket. O’Connell notes the increased focus on preventing Dobbs from escaping forward and relying on his legs. Dobbs, still adapting to O’Connell’s passing game nuances, faces challenges in timing and rhythm, affecting his accuracy and decision-making. The adjustment to being a pocket passer has posed difficulties for Dobbs.
Finally, the mailbag explores the potential return of D.J. Wonnum, who has shown improvement under Brian Flores. With only two of the Vikings’ five edge rushers signed beyond this season, the performance of Wonnum, a versatile rush-and-cover outside linebacker, becomes crucial. Wonnum has excelled as a role player, demonstrating reliability in tackles, finishing pass rushes, and contributing to the team’s overall defensive efforts. His performance suggests a potential long-term role, even if it remains as a key rotation player.