Scouting Reports

Sunday Sleeper: RB Tre Madden Scouting Report

Tre Madden missed four games down the stretch in 2015 because of knee soreness. He played in the final two regular season games for USC but only carried the ball eight times in those contests. Madden underwent knee surgery following the season and missed the Holiday Bowl.

He was originally recruited by the Trojans to play linebacker before switching to running back in 2012. Madden has complied 1,155 yards and eight touchdown on 223 career rushing attempts. His 32 receptions for 334 yards and five touchdowns in the passing game will certainly catch the eye of Norv Turner.

Tre Madden | Running Back, USC


Height: 6’1
Weight: 225
Age: 22

At First Glance

2013 Sophomore All-American honorable mention. High School: Super Prep All American. USA Today All-USA second team.

Projected Round

6th or 7th round.


For a tall running back, Madden has a compact build with a strong upper body, toned torso and some thickness to his legs.

Great vision and balance with the right blend of patience and explosiveness when reading and hitting holes.

Has the speed and acceleration to get to the edge and upfield.

Shows good ability to lower his shoulders, push piles, and break tackles making him an ideal goal line or short yardage option.

Will fight for extra yards and finish runs hard.

A big back with enough top end speed to be a home-run threat when he hits the open field.

Good pass blocker who shows the willingness and technique to stonewall blitzers and redirect pressure away from the quarterback.

Good hands out of the backfield as a pass catcher and often lined up wide.


Durability. Injury history will be his red flag. Madden missed two entire seasons at USC (2012, torn left knee ligament; 2014, turf toe) along with minor injuries causing him to miss time each year.

Looks to bounce runs outside moving horizontally too often.

NFL Player Comparison

T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Madden will not be drafted as high as Yeldon based on his extensive injury history, but both backs have solid all-around traits that get the job done. They may not be the fastest or strongest but they have enough ability in all areas of the game to be effective especially in today’s back by committee approach.

The Vikings Slant

A lot has been written about Adrian Peterson’s lack of production and inabilities working from the shotgun formation and in passing situations in general. He is 30 years old and under contract with the Vikings through 2017. This year his base salary of $7,750,000 and a cap hit of $11,000,000 is not that unreasonable for the NFL’s leading rusher. However, the following year things will get interesting when his base salary jumps up to $11,750,000 with a cap hit of $18,000,000. His contract is such that the Vikings could receive a few trade offers this offseason, but his trade value is probably not going to bring the kind of offer the Vikings will want. The cold hard business facts are the Vikings will probably want to keep him this season, yet unfortunately look to cut him before the 2017 season when he is due a $6,000,000 roster bonus.

The above scenario allows Madden a season to work with Vikings’ trainer Eric Sugarman before being pressed into action. A combination of Jerick McKinnon and a healthy Madden in 2017 would make a dynamic one two punch in the Vikings backfield. With Matt Asiata and Zach Line entering free agency, the Vikings will have their eye on a few “big backs” this offseason.

Madden’s inability to stay healthy is the biggest detriment to his value. In his five years as a Trojan, Madden missed two full seasons and never completed an entire season as a running back. So, a season to train with Sugarman might be the perfect situation for Madden and the Vikings.

Injury red flags haven’t stymied Rick Spielman’s willingness to roll the dice in the later rounds on the right player. Madden’s size and natural talent make him a worthy late-round flyer candidate.

Madden’s blend of speed, acceleration and power allow him to be effective as an inside runner while also maintaining the threat to bounce it outside for big chunk plays. He flashes good agility to make defenders miss and the strength to take on defenders and finish runs for extra yards.

Ball security doesn’t seem to be an issue as Madden has only lost one fumble in his career. Vikings fans will also be happy to note Madden looks very comfortable working out of the shotgun formation as a runner, in pass protection, and also as a route runner as seen in the below Stanford game tape.

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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  1. I don’t usually worry too much about durability history in college because most of the time, it’s just a freak thing that causes them to miss time and they end up doing fine in the NFL. If we could get a running back of his caliber in the 6th round, I say go for it. He probably wouldn’t be an every-down back anyway. He’d sit behind Peterson (whether you want back or not, he’s probably going to be here next season) for a while and then he’d share carries with McKinnon. I think he’d hold up

  2. Adrian Peterson only gets a 6,000.00 roster bonus in 2017. haha (you may want to add a comma). Good read. I love Tre Madden, he was phenomenal at USC. Only problem was that he could not stay on the field. If he could stay healthy this would be a great pick up for Norv.

  3. The Vikings have two 7th RD. pick. Be nice to use one on Tre Madden and then one on a Punter. 6th RD would be fine as well. He will be a nice steal like Diggs was last year. Nice Sunday Sleeper Carl Knowles. I like it!