Mark Craig of the Startribune doesn’t seem to think the Vikings need to rush things at the running back position. But, with Toby Gerhart gone and Matt Asiata as the next man up, I’m just a dainty bit concerned. My curiosity as to what GM Rick Spielman might have up his sleeve pertaining to the backup tailback position has got the best of me. In Craig’s recent article, he shares an interesting quote from Spielman about the possibility of adding another ball carrier.

“I know you can’t go into the season with just two running backs,” Spielman said. “So that’s an area that we’ve talked about a couple of running backs that are currently out on the market. But we’ve also honed in on a couple of backs in the draft as well.”


The Vikings haven’t really been aggressively pursuing any backs in free agency, so maybe Spielman and company feel pretty good about a couple backs in this draft class.

 Norv Turner likes a back that can get the job done in the passing game, so I decided to stick my nose into a few scouting reports to see which backs Turner and the Vikings might be “honed” in on.

 I’m not 100% sold on Asiata as the #2 guy, but overall I like the youth, depth and talent of the backfield on the Vikings roster. With that said, it is my opinion that “if” Spielman wants to upgrade the backup RB spot, he will need to select one in the mid to late rounds of the 2014 draft.

 Here are 3 backs that rushed for over 1000 yards and were major contributors in the pass game as well.

 Bishop Sankey 5-9 209 lbs: University of Washington’s running back Bishop Sankey may not have the ideal size to be an every down workhorse at the next level, but he has the skill set to thrive and be very effective in a passing attack and also as a rotational change of pace back in the NFL.

 Bishop is a hard working team leader that got plenty of touches (653) in the running game for the Huskies over the past two seasons. In 2013, Sankey rushed for 1,825 yards breaking Corey Dillion’s school single-season rushing mark of 1,695 yards. Sankey topped 200 yards rushing three times last season helping the Huskies to 9-4 record. Sankey is a well rounded back that can also be effective in pass protection as well as catching the ball out of the backfield evident by his 67 career receptions.

Sankey preformed well at the combine with a 4.49 forty, benched 225 lbs 25 times, and recorded a 35.5 vertical jump.

 “I thought the Sankey kid caught the ball well, which I wanted to see him do.” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who said Sankey was one of the better running back performers on the day. has Sankey ranked 63rd overall and the #4 running back in the class.

Drafttek has Bishop Sankey 37th on their board and mocks him to the Miami Dolphins at pick 50.

 Mike Miller has Shanky mocked to Oakland in the 3rd round at pick #67. has Sankey mocked in the 70th slot to Jacksonville, but that was before the Jags signed Toby.

 If Shankey’s lack of ideal size coupled with a soft demand on the running back market pushes him out of the second round, don’t be shocked if the Vikings take a look at him with the pick #72 in the third round.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Charlie Sims 6’0 214 lbs: One of the most consistent and effective pass protecting backs in the draft is West Virginia’s Charlie Sims. He is a good pass catcher with great burst and acceleration. Sims led the Mountaineers with 45 receptions for 401 yards in 2013.

 Sims is a versatile running back with great hand-eye coordination who hauled in 203 passes and averaged over 10 yards per catch in his college career. He is a good route runner that can also split out wide as a receiver. Sims’ 4.48 forty time was 8th among running backs at the combine. His 10’5 broad jump and 37.5 inch vertical is confirmation of the burst and suddenness that shows up on tape.

 The West Virginia offensive line was less than stellar and Sims still managed to rush for 1,095 yards with a 5.3 yard average in 2013.

Sims is not what I would call a slasher or dancer type, but he can certainly put his foot in the ground and move up field in a hurry. has Sims ranked 91st overall and the #7 running back in the 2014 draft.

 Drattek has Charlies Sims mocked to the Denver Broncos with the 127th pick in their latest 7 round mock draft.

Mike Miller has Sims mocked to the Browns in the 3rd round one spot before the Vikings pick at 72. has Sims mocked to Atlanta with pick #103.

Check out this video on YouTube:

 James White 5-9 204 lbs: White is an underrated overachieving running back who put together a fantastic four year career for the Wisconsin Badgers. 4,015 career rushing yards with an average of 6.2 yards per carry and 73 receptions lands him on my late round draft wish list.

 White’s career stats could have been even higher if it weren’t for the fact he had to share the backfield with Monte Ball and Melvin Gordon.

 White does a good job when it comes blocking and pass protection. He is a strong guy (23 bench reps), but his small frame can be knock backwards occasionally. White has a lot of experience when it comes to chipping on the edge and releasing into routes.

White has great hands and excels at catching the ball on the move. White has a very natural ability to transition smoothly from making the catch to running with the ball. has White ranked 161 overall and the #13 running back. ranks White as the #17 running back and gives him a 4th to 6th round grade.

 Drafttek has White going undrafted.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Honorable mention: The 2014 draft offers the Vikings some intriguing options at the running back position. Ka’Deem Carey, the 5-9 207 lbs RB from Arizona is another back to keep an eye on. His off field issues and a poor showing at the combine could push him into the mid rounds of the draft.

The Vikings will not use pick 8 or 40 on a running back, but 72, 96, 108 and 148 could be a sweet-spot range where a few quality backs could come off the board.  



  1. Sims and White are some of my favorite prospects in the entire draft, and I love their pass-blocking ability. I have the vikings taking Sims in several of my vikings-specific mocks.

    • Agree Vikeodin,
      Sims is the odds on favorite in my book. I feel pretty good that he might still be available at pick 96 or 108.
      The Vikings will get good value and add a different element to the roster.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Carl, What about Terrance West? He is a beast. He is going to be a great NFL running back.

  3. WTF,
    Yes, I like Terreance West too. Another one of those likeable mid round backs.
    He didn’t make my cut because he has more of a power back build and lacks 4.4 speed. However, I think he moves very well with long strides. Solid in pass protection and has good hands too.
    All eyes should be on Terreance West as well.
    Good Comment!

    • I want the Vikings to draft a running back like West, instead of a change of pace back. West could take some snaps away from AD. And if AD goes down(the Vikings are screwed if he does), I think West cold fill in nicely. Watch the game for Towsen and Eastern Illinois if you can fins it. West has some wheels. West had 354 yards in a snow bowl game.

      • For 225 lbs West has some getty up to him. He is just a snail’s hair slower than the guys I talked about… but not by much.

        The Vikings have Asiata, Z Line, Rhett Ellison and Felton (big backs), so that’s one reason I went in the smaller back direction.

        I agree that the Vikings need a true #2 back that can fill in if Adrian goes down. The reason I like this running back class is because the mid round prospects are “complete” backs. They are all capable of 3rd down back duties or they can also fill in as a starter if needed.

  4. It seems like deep draft at the RB.. All of these guys provide a great alternative to Adrian for the coordinator except Carey who seems like a power runner in the mold of Ingram but you never know. He produced on the field.

    • I think Carey could fall in this draft. Zimmer is a guy that could get the most out of Carey if he comes into the NFL with a chip on his shoulders.
      Carey looks good on tape. Good quickness and make you miss moves, I just can believe his straight line 40 time is that bad.
      Carey could be the steal of the draft if he falls to round 4 or 5.

    • I love Bradley, and it broke my heart to write this post… but Bradley couldn’t make the 75 man roster cut last season. He even struggled to stay on the PS for most of the year.
      I’m just being realistic. Sorry guys.

  5. I agree that we need to look at RBs in the draft. However you can still find good RB’s later in the rounds. I think anything before round 5 is a wasted pick. We have other higher priority holes to fill.

  6. If Tre Mason falls into the 3rd round like some recent mocks have him, I would love that pick. Maybe even move up a few picks to grab him in the early 3rd.
    We can use the extra picks aquired from slliding down in the 1st to move up and grab him.
    Probably a mute point as I think Mason will go in the second round.

  7. Next to a starting left OG who is capable of pass and run blocking well I rank these # two at the top of my needs to fix on the offense ~ AP is going to be the work horse this year even if they draft a QB and he turns out to be something special ~ If they dont fix left OG then AP will be dancing at the line of LOS where he will be talked tackled for a very short gain or behind the line ~ And who ever starts at QB will be running for his life ~

    And the fact the Norv loves to run the ball then there is a better chance of a aging AP is going to get hurt ~ He has missed games in the last 3 seasons or played hurt ~ No running game then no passing game even with the guys on the roster at RB ~

    I hope they can fill both of these need with players who truly ranks as BPA by round 3 ~ This is a rebuilding season and that includes using young player like Gerald Hodges~Michael Mauti~Audie Cole~Andrew Sendejo just to name a few ~ Its going to take time for them to learn to play together ~ Something they never got from Frazier and his staff ~ Add that to the players from the draft and this is going to be like a new roster ~ But hey if they go out and win 10 or 11 games my feeling want get hurt ~ LOL


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