Wisconsin Football: Joel Stave’s Chances of Making the Minnesota Vikings Roster

Former Wisconsin football quarterback Joel Stave was an undrafted free agent signed by the Minnesota Vikings. What are his chances of making the 53-man roster?

Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, former Wisconsin football quarterback Joel Stave was considered to be a late draft pick or an undrafted free agent, and the latter projection was confirmed when seven rounds passed and his name was not called.

Shortly after the draft, Stave was one of seven former Badgers to sign in undrafted free agency, joining up with the Minnesota Vikings.

What are the chances that he makes the final 53-man roster? Better than you might think.

The Vikings quarterback situation is not strong. Behind starter Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota has three quarterbacks – Stave, Shaun Hill and Taylor Heinicke.

Hill is clearly the likeliest option to serve as Bridgewater’s primary backup, but he’s anything but a long-term backup solution.

2016 will mark Hill’s 15th season in the league, and the second year of his current stint in Minnesota (he began his career with the Vikings before bouncing around the league).

He’s far from special, but a capable backup. At 36, though, he’s likely close to the end of his career.

That’s why the Vikings have Stave and Heinicke on board – to find the backup of the future. Heinicke made the Vikings 53-man roster last season, but was inactive for all 16 games as Hill was the primary backup and Bridgewater stayed healthy all season.

Hill only saw the field in two games, attempting seven passes.

Heinicke has a year of NFL practice under his belt and a leg up on Stave in that department, but the Vikings don’t have any obligation to the second-year player.

Stave seems at the very worst headed to the practice squad – given Hill’s age Minnesota will likely keep either Heinicke or Stave on the 53-man roster and send the other to the practice squad.

Stave has to work on his accuracy and decision-making, but heads into a relatively good situation this offseason.

He has the pedigree of running a pro-style offense at Wisconsin, possesses NFL arm strength, and brings more college wins to the NFL than any other Badgers quarterback has done before.

Unless he completely lays an egg this summer, Stave should be employed as either the third-string quarterback or a member of the Vikings practice squad.