Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) rushes with the football during the first quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a place for Joe Webb on the Vikings team?

Joe Webb is an exciting player.  His speed and athleticism has caused the jaws of Vikings fans to drop when he has been given the opportunity to play.  He also has an attitude that shows that he wants to win and is willing to work hard to make winning happen.

Recently, Coach Frazier has mentioned that the team is interested in trying Webb at positions other than Quarterback. The only issue right now with Webb is finding out if there is a place for him on the final roster.  Let’s take a quick look at the options:

Wide Receiver

Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) scrambles away from Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden (93) during the 1st quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings drafted Joe Webb in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft as a Wide Receiver out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  While at UAB, Webb only played Wide Receiver for one year (2007) and played Quarterback the rest.  The limited experience at the position made him a project.  The Vikings were impressed with his measurables at his UAB Pro Day.  Some of his numbers would have led all Wide Receivers at the combine if he had been invited.

Webb’s best chance to make the roster is most likely Receiver.  If the Vikings decide to carry 5 Wide Receivers on the final 53, Webb will face some stiff competition for a spot.  Assuming that Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, and Jerome Simson will make the team, that means one spot will be open for the rest of the players to fight for.  He will have to beat out players like Stephen Burton, Chris Summers, Adam Thielen, Rodney Smith and Greg Chids (if healthy).

There has also been skepticism about Webb’s ability to catch the ball consistently.  If this is something Webb can get under control, we could see him take that final spot.  Although many Vikings fans would be surprised if he beat out Burton, Smith, or Childs for the position, it is possible.

Quarterback

Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) throws a pass in the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have been playing Joe Webb at Quarterback after he impressed coaches with his arm during his first training camp.  Since then, he has been the Vikings backup Quarterback behind players like Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb, and Brett Favre.

Now that Christian Ponder has been named the Vikings starting Quarterback and Matt Cassell is the backup, that only leaves the Vikings third string position open.  He would have to beat out McLeod Bethel-Thompson and James Vandenberg to secure a spot.  That might be an uphill climb, since the Vikings seem to really like Bethel-Thompson’s potential and will most likely keep him at the position over Webb.

Kick Returner

As earlier stated, Webb’s speed and athletic ability would make him an excellent candidate to return kicks.  Sadly for him, the competition at that spot is even stiffer than the ones listed above.  He’d have to beat out guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, Marcus Sherels, Josh Robinson, and others.  This is a real long shot and is very unlikely.

Running Back

Even though this hasn’t really been discussed, it is an interesting idea.  Using Webb as a change-of-pace Running Back would allow the Vikings to implement more gadget plays and keep defenses guessing.  The question marks regarding using him in this way are his durability and ability to pass block.  The Vikings are set with the amazing Adrian Peterson starting, the depth at the position is in doubt.  Toby Gerhart in the last year of his contract and Matt Asiata is the only other experienced player at the position.  It is doubtful the Vikings would purse using Webb in this role though.

Release Him Into Free Agency

The final option for the Vikings is to set Webb free.  If the team can’t find a role to use Webb in, they should allow him to pursue a job with a different team.  It would be a shame for Minnesota to miss out on his athletic ability and electric playmaking, but if he’s not part of the Vikings plans moving forward, it is time to cut ties.

What do you see happening with Joe Webb?  What would you like to happen?  Let us know in the comments!

 

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