Tarvaris Jackson: Vikings' Quarterback of the Future?

John LombardSenior Analyst IJanuary 23, 2008

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson started to show signs of improvement as this season progressed. The Vikings' record of 8-8 is better than most Viking fans were expecting this season.

"T-Jack" struggled to make routine throws at the start of the year, which really showed Week 2 against Detroit.  Jackson threw 4 interceptions in that game and completed just 50 percent of his passes for about 160 yards. 

Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor were able to help him grow as a quarterback. Minnesota posted the league's best rushing attack this year, which was able to take pressure off Jackson, and allow him to comfortably learn the offense. During the Vikings late season 5-game win streak, Jackson started to make routine throws look just that, routine. 

Sidney Rice seemed to emerge as the first playmaker at the receiver position since the days of Moss. Troy Williamson proved to everyone that laser surgery doesn't make you a better receiver when you can't catch the ball.

The Vikings should really look to move him this off season. In three seasons his cumulative stats are 79 catches, 1067 yards and just THREE touchdowns. Keep in mind the Vikings drafted Williamson with the 7th overall pick in 2005. 

This, after they traded Randy Moss for that pick and Napoleon Harris.  Shawne Merriman and DeMarcus Ware are two notable linebackers picked past the 7th pick.

Okay. Back to Jackson.

I think with the arm strength and mobility that he showed this season, Jackson should be given at least one more year. If Minnesota is able to get him a good second option to throw to, he should be successful. 

Bernard Berrian is a free agent wide receivers that could fit in well in Minnesota. Berrian’s speed would give Minnesota what they were looking for in Williamson. 

Tarvaris did struggle throwing the ball in the two biggest games for Minnesota this year though. Against Washington, he had two key interceptions that helped Washington get out to that big lead. Jackson did show a fighting spirit though, rushing for two touchdowns late in the game during the Vikings’ comeback. 

So looking back at the Vikings of 2007, I'd say their prospects for being competitive in the future are bright.  A great running game, good defense, and improving quarterback play give us Viking fans hope for the future.