Minnesota Vikings draft: What to expect from rookie QB Jaren Hall
(FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings added a new name to the quarterback room on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, taking BYU quarterback Jaren Hall in the fifth round.
FOX 9's Pierre Noujaim chatted with BYU TV sportscaster Spencer Linton, who has watched Hall in college, on what the young quarterback can bring to Minnesota.
Linton: "I feel like we got a glimpse of what he could do as a healthy runner if you go back to early in the second half of last year's BYU game at Baylor with [Robert Griffin III] on the call. BYU on a fourth down and short called the Okey Doke and Jaren Hall kept it and sprinted away from Baylor's defensive backs into the end zone. And I was like, Whoa! Like, I know Jaren is fast, but my gosh, like he really showed his athleticism there. I don't like to make comparisons because I feel like each quarterback is kind of their own dude. But he kind of reminds me of Russell Wilson. But a little faster than Russell Wilson. Same built, a little bit taller, actually, than Russ has got a very strong arm. And I'm telling you, like you give him the maturity of Kirk Cousins and the stability of Minnesota's coaching staff and what's going on the offensive side of the ball. I feel like this is just a home run draft pick for the Vikings."
Where does he need to improve?
Linton: "He needs to prove his durability, like he needs to show Minnesota that he can get nicked up and it's not going to totally railroad what he's going to be able to do or not do. And the second thing I would say, which he's been working on consistently with a guy I call the Quarterback Whisperer, his name is John Beck, former BYU guy, played for the Miami Dolphins and was thrown into an awful situation. Now he runs a business called 3D QB. He just trained Bryce Young. He just trained C.J. Stroud. He works with Dak Prescott. He trains all types of NFL guys and he has been working very consistently with Jaren and specifically on just seeing the middle of the field, the intermediate passes in the middle of the field a little bit better. Jaren is so good at attacking the edges, has great touch and the long ball is good with his running backs in the short game and the check downs. The intermediate throws in the middle of the field is an area that he's going to need to work on. And I feel like that's something that Kirk Cousins and the staff in Minnesota can really help him do along with his training he's had with Jon Beck."
Does he have the potential to be a starter?
Linton: "I believe he does, because of the maturity that we have referenced so much in this conversation. He has a quiet confidence, that's the best way I can explain it. Just carries himself with a quiet confidence. And when he's healthy. Yes. The key will be keeping him healthy, learning for at least a year under Kirk Cousins, and then I would love to see Jaren Hall in year two or three step in and do his thing as a more matured, ready, prepared guy. Maybe take, for example, Jordan Love in Green Bay. They just, you know, shipped out Aaron Rodgers, Love's been sitting there learning, growing. He's another guy that's from the state of Utah and Utah State. Jaren could be that Jordan Love-type guy that steps into a bigger role in a year or two."
What kind of person are we getting?
Linton: "An elite human being and I don't toss that around lightly. Jaren has earned every bit of that with his maturity, his even-keeled nature. He's been through it. You know, I asked him on Friday, now what's your best asset, man? And he said, ‘Well, my best asset needs to be my availability. That is my greatest ability is my availability. And I need to go to wherever I get drafted and show them I am durable. I'm going to learn. I'm going to be bought in 100%, and I'm just going to be there and ready to go if you need me.' And I thought that was such a mature answer, but kind of microcosm of who he is as an individual."
He suffered an ankle injury last season. How much did it affect him?
Linton: "He won't tell you how much it affected him. You got to go to people in his camp around him to find out just how big of a deal that was. But if Jaren Hall played the whole season even 80% healthy, BYU probably wins ten games again. They just didn't have any faith or trust in the backup quarterback scenario. So they were kind of in desperation scenario where it's like, 'Jaren, you're 60%, you're 65%. Okay, well, that still gives us the best chance to win.' And that goes to show you his toughness. If he's 100%, I'm telling you this dude is ultra-athletic, capable of running a 4.5 [40-yard dash]. He can scramble, he can extend plays, and he is super, super bought in on team."