Drafted as a receiver in round six of the 2010 draft, Joe Webb has shown the Vikings that maybe, just maybe, he could develop into the team’s quarterback of the future, according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“If you look at Joe Webb, he was a very good quarterback at the
University of Alabama-Birmingham,” V.P. of player personnel Rick Spielman told Hartman. “He actually threw for
over 2,000 yards and rushed for over 1,500 yards. But he is such a
unique athlete that everybody was looking at him as a receiver, and
possibly looking at him as a Josh Cribbs-type, who plays up in
Cleveland, who actually was a quarterback.”
One of the factors that has the Vikings considering Webb at quarterback? The size of his hands.
“His hands are 11 inches long. How we measure them is from the tip of
the thumb all the way out to the end of the pinky, and he, by far, has
tremendous sized hands,” Spielman said. “[That's] a huge asset not only as a receiver,
but what we found out is, as we were going through that rookie minicamp,
he was out there working as a receiver, and coach [Brad] Childress said, ‘Let’s just throw him and throw some 1-on-1 drills
and see what kind of arm he has.’ And he was very impressive that one
day we put him out.”
Webb showed enough to persuade the Vikings to convert him to quarterback, and he has done well enough to leapfrog Sage Rosenfels at last weekend’s mandatory minicamp.
“[W]e’ll see what we decide to do with him when we come back at training
camp,” Spielman said. “But again, you can’t deny, you can’t teach the
athletic skills that Joe Webb has.”
And so, four years after the Vikings used a second-round pick on a quarterback from Alabama State who never has quite fulfilled his potential, they may have found their long-term answer by accident via a school in the same state.