Wearing Percy Harvin and Gus Frerotte’s old jersey No. 12, new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens clocked in for duty on Tuesday in Eagan.
Mullens arrived to the Vikings after a trade by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah with the Las Vegas Raiders. Adofo-Mensah sent a conditional 7th-Round pick from the 2024 NFL Draft to the Raiders for Mullens, adding competition to Minnesota’s evolving QB2 battle.
For all of the summer, the Vikings hosted an open duel between second-year passer Kellen Mond and eight-year veteran Sean Mannion at QB2. Mond showed flashes of promise in the first preseason game against Mullen’s old team, the Raiders. However, the Texas A&M alumnus followed the Las Vegas outing with a dud at home versus the San Francisco 49ers.
The dud sprung the Vikings front office into action.
Mannion, on the other hand, has been a part of the Vikings since 2019, serving as Kirk Cousins’ backup but not seeing much activity on the field. And when Minnesota did call his number in two regular season games, Mannion looked more like a QB3 or QB4.
The 27-year-old brings four years of NFL experience to the Vikings, plus 17 starts. Mullens spoke to reporters Tuesday:
Mullens has also fired up a 243.1 passing-yards-per-game average in his young career, a blistering raw total for a backup quarterback. His 26-TD to 22-INT split is underwhelming, but even that ratio is an instant upgrade to the prognoses of Mond or Mannion.
He’s also responsible for wild statistics like this, although this metric shouldn’t be considered a Holy Grail of stardom:
Most Career Passing Yards,
20 Career Games or Fewer:
- Nick Mullens = 4,861
- Mac Jones = 3,801
- John Skelton = 3,707
- Trevor Lawrence = 3,641
- Craig Whelihan = 3,160
Vikings brass insists Mullens is the house merely to enhance the QB2 tournament, but most ardent Vikings fans know he’s a shoo-in to win the job — and lock it down with ease for the first time by a QB2 since Case Keenum in 2017.
And, as of Tuesday, Mullens is formally on his way to completing the task.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).