Former QB Joe Webb impressing as WR at Vikings' OTAs
Maybe the 2010 sixth-round pick isn't cut out to play quarterback at the NFL level, but Webb will have a chance to make up for his poor playoff performance by making an impact from a new position - wide receiver.
The Vikings moved Webb - one of the more athletic quarterbacks in the league - to a full-time receiver role about two weeks ago. Since the position switch, Webb has done nothing but impress the coaching staff.
ESPN Twin Cities' Tom Pelissero tweeted Tuesday that Webb has "caught everything in workouts" and that his "hands aren't an issue." It's obviously good news, as Webb has probably started plays with the ball already in his hands for as long as he can remember. The former quarterback has 4.44 wheels and a prototypical wide receiver frame at 6'4'', 220 pounds.
From a talent standpoint, Webb has a clear edge on fellow receivers Stephen Burton and Chris Summers, who are all competing for the No. 5 receiver spot. Pelissero acknowledges, however, that Webb's biggest hurdle is "learning everything else." By that, I imagine he is mostly referring to route running - making the right cut at the right time, and changing routes before the play depending on the look the defense is giving. If Webb can learn those facets of the game, he could end up becoming a contributor on offense.
With the Vikings' No. 3 and 4 receivers having combined for 48 catches, 584 yards, and two touchdowns last season, Webb could make a push for playing time if he continues to impress and grow as a pass catcher. However, learning the intricacies of NFL route running is no easy task, and Webb will have to work hard to see regular playing time in 2013. He may be a season or two away from making any real impact, but he has a shot at doing so this year. If any player can quickly learn the playbook from a new position, it's a quarterback.