Vikings Insiders Believe Nick Mullens Will Be QB1 After Bye Week

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This weekend, Minnesota Vikings fans will spend most of the bye week remembering how much worse weekends are when our favorite team isn’t playing. But eventually, week 13 will pass and week 14 will rise. And when that happens, a new Vikings QB1 could be revealed.

Related: Kevin O’Connell Won’t Commit to Josh Dobbs as Vikings QB1 Going Forward

While it’s still possible we see Josh Dobbs as the starter in Las Vegas vs the Raiders, it seems more likely we’ll see a different quarterback take that first snap from Garrett Bradbury on December 10. But will it be NFL veteran backup Nick Mullens or rookie 5th-rounder Jaren Hall?

Minnesota Vikings insiders believe Nick Mullens will be QB1

Multiple Vikings insiders believe it will be the former. That head coach Kevin O’Connell will opt for Nick Mullens because he can handle the biggest slice of the playbook and, in theory, should be the safest pick as QB1 now that the defense is playing so well. Here’s the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling on his most recent ‘Access Vikings’ podcast.

“Yeah, unless there’s things from Jaren Hall that we haven’t seen in practices, I just tend to think, if your biggest issue is, ‘we’re turning the ball over, we’re not executing our offense efficiently, the way that we want it to run…

The best way, I would think, to get some semblance of that back is to put in the guy that’s got the most experience in your offense, the guy that you added because you wanted another backup, that can play in the offense in a somewhat similar fashion to Kirk Cousins; a guy that Kirk cousins has praised as helping him learn the nuances of the offense…”

“I just tend to think if they are as irritated by the inefficiency and especially the turnovers as they seem to be [with Josh Dobbs], Nick Mullins probably ends up being the safe reliable family car in the garage that won’t wow anybody. You’re not taking that thing out on the autobahn. But it’s getting decent gas mileage, it’s got low insurance costs because of all the safety features.”

Ben Goessling (Star Tribune) on ‘Vikings Access’ Podcast
nick mullens minnesota vikings starting quarterback qb1 jaren hall josh dobbs joshua dobbs
Image Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Who can best get the ball to Justin Jefferson?

Not only do the Vikings seem to think that Mullens knows the offense best and is more likely to be safe with the ball, but it’s also believed that their decision is, at least in part, based on which QB can best get the ball to Justin Jefferson.

Related: Jared Allen Thinks Vikings Should Move on from Kirk Cousins

And the feeling coming from inside the organization on who’s the best bet for JJ, is yet again coming up Mullens. Darren Wolfson (SKOR North, KSTP) opined on this exact topic during Thursday’s episode of MN Sports with Mackey & Judd on SKOR North.

He doesn’t believe Jaren Hall is in the running to start vs the Raiders, that it’s between Dobbs and Mullens. But let’s be real. If there was a good chance that Dobbs was going to be the starter in Las Vegas, I find it hard to believe Kevin O’Connell would ring the alarm on a possible QB change, like he did after the loss vs Chicago and then again on Tuesday.

“The question that [the Vikings] are asking themselves, more than any other one, is among Jaren Hall, Nick Mullens, Josh Dobbs, which of the three gives Justin Jefferson, who will be back December 10th against the Raiders, which of those three gives Justin the best chance to succeed?

The Wilfs still very much have their eyes on the playoffs”… “I will be surprised, I don’t have the definitive answer right now, but I will be surprised if the answer December 10th is Jaren Hall. So then, it’s Dobbs or Mullens. Let’s not forget that Mullens would have been ‘the guy’ November 5th in Atlanta, if he doesn’t suffer that back injury in practice in October.

Yes they make a move for someone, maybe it still would have been Dobbs, maybe somebody else. But Mullins was the number two for a reason. I just wonder if, of those three quarterbacks, Nick is the guy that allows Justin to have the most success. But I think it’s down to those two, that’s just my sense. Dobbs V Mullins, that it won’t be Jaren Hall.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)

I’ve racked my brain over this subject for a few days and, much like the plugged in local insiders, every logical conclusion comes back to Nick Mullens starting for the Vikings next weekend vs the Raiders, mostly for the reasons laid out by Wolfson and Goessling above.

We’ll find out for sure, soon enough.