The Minnesota Vikings have added another former Rams quarterback to their roster, with Case Keenum in the fold to replace Shaun Hill as the primary backup to Sam Bradford. Fox 26 in Houston was the first with the news.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) March 31, 2017
Keenum was largely a practice squad quarterback for the Rams in 2014, though he did have some time on the 53-man roster and in the year prior bounced between the practice squad and the full roster for the Houston Texans.
After being signed once more by the Texans late that year as a backup, he ended up starting two games in December and winning both. In 2015, the Rams traded back for Keenum to back up Nick Foles, and eventually started Keenum late in the season.
In 2016, he was the Rams’ starter as they groomed rookie quarterback Jared Goff. They eventually benched Keenum halfway through the season to start an unprepared Goff.
Keenum has a 9-15 record as a starter, but has played for almost exclusively bad teams. His adjusted net yards per attempt (career 5.35) and passer rating (78.4) point to a statistical value somewhere between the 23rd- and 26th-best quarterback in the NFL.
Generally speaking, he’s been a somewhat careful quarterback with average accuracy, though it’s high-variance. Instead of being somewhat accurate on a lot of throws, he moves between very poor ball placement on some throws, excellent ball placement on other throws and a smaller chunk of passes in between those two extremes.
He also seems to have an underrated arm. Keenum doesn’t seem to be scared at throwing the deep ball or particularly untalented at it.
From the perspective of a starter, pressure fazes him and he has big problems making reads when he feels like he has to rush the process.
He’ll force his first progression if there’s a decent chance something is there without acknowledging that there may be better options beyond that — though that doesn’t mean he ignores progressions, even if he’s a little slow there.
Pre-snap reads are therefore a bigger area of improvement for him than they otherwise would be. Quarterbacks that unduly favor their first read need to drill down what their first read even is, but he at least understands how route combinations and defenses interact with each other.
Overall, Keenum is a quarterback that can operate in a highly-managed environment without hurting the team and can benefit from playmakers at every level of the field. This should be a solid backup signing that improves the spot in the absence of Shaun Hill.
Hopefully, this doesn’t foreclose the opportunity for Taylor Heinicke to improve or for Teddy Bridgewater to at some point make an appearance on the 53-man roster, though that seems like a long shot.
— Taylor Heinicke (@Taylor_Heinicke) March 31, 2017