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Thursday, May 16, 2013
BBAO: Joe Webb to WR -- finally

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Minnesota Vikings finally are following up on their first instinct on Joe Webb. Four years after drafting him with plans to attempt a conversion to receiver, the Vikings have confirmed that Webb is now a receiver moving forward.

Coach Leslie Frazier and Webb himself discussed the decision with Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune, one that apparently was solidified after the team in March signed free agent Matt Cassel to be its No. 2 quarterback. Cassel's arrival left Webb at best as the Vikings' No. 3 quarterback, a waste of his undeniable athletic skills. (You can refresh yourself with this post that carries links to his jumping exploits.)

Webb has dabbled elsewhere since the 2010 draft, working as a wildcat quarterback at times while also catching one pass and returning a kickoff in 2011, but the Vikings could never make up their mind on whether they wanted him as a quarterback with "slash capabilities" or playing another position entirely.

He will be a huge target at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, but everyone should recognize how difficult a position change is at this point in a player's career. Although Webb spent some time at receiver at Alabama-Birmingham, the level of nuance required at the NFL level is incomparable. Using Webb at a position other than quarterback makes sense based on how the Vikings' roster is constituted now. But this type of conversion would have made better sense for a rookie spending a year on the practice squad than a fourth-year player who has already bombed out of one position.

Continuing around the NFC North: