Rookie Joe Webb Is the Answer To Multiple Positions for the Minnesota Vikings

J GatskieCorrespondent IJune 5, 2010

Joe Webb is an incredible athlete who will prove to be an excellent asset to the Minnesota Vikings in a variety of ways. The fact that he slid to the sixth round makes him a veritable bargain and a sleeper among NFL rookies.

Webb played college football at the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he was a redshirt as a freshman in 2005.

In his first two seasons he saw limited time at quarterback and threw for 1,105 yards and 6 touchdowns. Webb ran for 326 yards in those two years.

In 2007 Webb started nine games as a wide receiver and had 30 receptions for 459 yards and three touchdowns.

Webb captured the full time starting role at quarterback in 2008 and racked up over 3,000 yards in total offense. The dual purpose threat had 2,367 yards passing and 1,021 yards rushing.

He accounted for 21 touchdowns while leading UAB to the number 15 ranking in offense in the nation.

Webb exploded in 2009 for 2,299 yards passing and 1,427 yards rushing with a combined total of 32 touchdowns.

Webb, who is 6'4" 220-lbs, is a multi-dimensional athlete. He has outstanding arm strength, huge 11 inch hands, and had an improbable, but memorable pro-day that cemented his status as one of the premiere athletes in the draft.

Webb ran a 4.40 40 yard dash, had an 11'05" broad jump, did 21 reps of 225-lbs and had a 42-inch vertical leap.

Those numbers make Webb a uniquely explosive athlete regardless of the position he plays.

The fact that he is capable of playing wide receiver, quarterback in the Wildcat, or as a traditional quarterback make Webb a very special asset in the era of a 53-man roster.

The Vikings originally drafted Webb with an eye on converting him back to a full time wide receiver.

However, after watching him in minicamp, Vikings head coach Brad Childress said, "He has an aptitude to be a quarterback, and if you go back and look at the UAB numbers, he put up outstanding numbers. He knows what he's doing."

With Brett Favre currently in limbo (for the moment), Webb is battling R.J. Archer for the third quarterback spot behind Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.

Could you imagine having Webb, Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson in the same backfield and Sidney Rice split out wide? I bet Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell has and I wouldn't be shocked to see Brett Favre, assuming he comes back, come off the field this year and yield the show to Webb to run a specialty package of plays in short yardage situations.

Webb could be better than Ronnie Brown, Josh Cribbs, or any of the Wildcat quarterbacks because he has better weapons, is faster, and has a better arm.

Joe Webb has the potential to be both a legitimate starting quarterback and wide receiver in the NFL. Very few players have that kind of athletic ability and intellectual acumen.

His 4.40 speed makes him a vertical threat on fly routes even if he doesn't practice daily at wideout.

The odds on the Vikings using him regularly at wideout if he wins a job as a quarterback are slim, but it wouldn't be a shock to see him at the end of a half or in a long yardage situation.

Childress and Bevell will be hard pressed to leave that kind of speed holding a clipboard if the Vikings find themselves down or have an urgent need at wide receiver.

While he matures and develops as a quarterback, the Vikings have the option of putting him in the position of possibly manning one of the most intriguing Wildcat formations in the NFL. 

Joe Webb is a uniquely talented young man who is getting a chance to pursue his life's ambition of becoming a traditional quarterback in the NFL.

The Vikings are getting a multi-talented football player who could potentially fill three roles in the most physically demanding sport to pursue.