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The Minnesota Vikings employ three quarterbacks on roster as of April 3rd, 2021: Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley, and Jake Browning. For the last two seasons, Sean Mannion served as the franchise’s QB2. Strangely, Mannion has never thrown a touchdown pass in his six-year NFL career.

It is undetermined if general manager Rick Spielman will re-up for Mannion’s reservist services in 2021.

If he does not, well, CBS Sports has the Vikings covered for QB2. In a comprehensive seven-round Minnesota mock draft, analyst Cody Benjamin sends Stanford quarterback Davis Mills to the Vikings.

For curious minds, Benjamin plops USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker on Minnesota’s roster with the 14th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This would give the Vikings an offensive line that might resemble this: (LT) Ezra Cleveland, (LG) Alijah Vera-Tucker, ( C ) Garrett Bradbury, (RG) Mason Cole, and (RT) Brian O’Neill.

Those would be the men protecting Kirk Cousins in 2021 and plowing lanes for tailback Dalvin Cook. Cousins has never missed a game in his career due to injury, but Benjamin forecasts the aforementioned Mills as Cousins’ fail-safe plan — or his eventual replacement.

Mills threw 18 touchdowns to eight interceptions in 11 career starts at Stanford. Ergo, one can see why he is a 4th-Round pick for the Vikings rather than a 1st-Round choice.

The Stanford alumnus would be a “project” sort of dude — not an imminent option to replace Cousins in 2021 or 2022. That’s Trey Lance-type stuff if the NDSU standout fell to the Vikings with the 14th pick at the end of the month.

Drae Harris of The Draft Network notes on Mills’ scouting report:

Davis Mills has average athleticism overall with regards to agility in and out of the pocket. He does a good job with subtle movements inside the pocket. However, on boots, naked, and RPOs, his lack of good athleticism and movement shows. He is a competitive player who has rallied his team from deficits. He is more accurate in the short to intermediate area than he is with his deep ball—although he shows moments of good touch on his deep passes.

And Ian Cummins of Pro Football Network chimes in:

“Started 11 games for Stanford the past two seasons. Physically-gifted quarterback with a next-level arm. Possesses terrific size, can spin the ball, and throws all his passes with speed. Spreads the ball around to all his targets, quickly identifies the open wideout, and flashes the ability to beautifully place the ball into receivers’ hands. Goes to the check-down target, throws darts, and gets the ball through tight spots. Patient, buys time, and does not force the issue. Puts touch on throws when necessary and delivers a catchable pass. Elusive with the ability to escape the rush or pick up yardage with his legs.”

Mills-to-Vikings would likely ensure that the Mannion era in Minnesota is kaput. Head coach Mike Zimmer would have Mills, Stanley, and Browning all available for QB2 — three young prospects.

If Mills can develop into a starter, his existence on the 2021 roster is a perk. The Vikings — particularly Zimmer — face a true make-or-break campaign for 2021. The popular consensus is that the Vikings must win a playoff game for Zimmer to see the 2022 offseason. Since his arrival to the franchise in 2014, Minnesota boasts the league’s eighth-best win-loss percentage. No Super Bowl appearances dampen this stat, though.

The Zimmer-Spielman-Cousins trio faces a telling test after an underwhelming 2020 season. The Vikings finished 7-9, battling a slew of injuries to players like Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce (COVID opt-out), Anthony Barr, Mike Hughes, and Eric Kendricks.

Mills probably isn’t in the cards for life-after-Cousins — even if the Vikings did actionize the CBS Sports mock draft based on his preliminary scouting report.

However, neither was Cousins for the Washington Football Team in 2012. Cousins was a 4th-Round draft pick, too.

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