After four trade-downs in the third round, the Vikings finally stayed put and selected a player with the 102nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. With the last pick in round three, the Vikings selected former Boise State running back Alexander Mattison.
Mattison (5-11, 221) had 302 rushes for 1,415 yards with 17 touchdowns last season, ranking him in the top-10 nationally in each category. On top of his 4.7 yards per carry average, he also hauled in 27 passes for 173 yards.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 8, 2019
“We felt Mattison was just a unique back and a back that fit all the traits that we were looking for, especially with the run game that we’re going to have and the work horse that he can be,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
It was made clear after the pick that the team views Mattison as a replacement for Latavius Murray. Murray joined the New Orleans Saints in free agency. Having running backs with different skill sets was apparently something the team was interested in replicating. Pairing the powerful Mattison with explosive starter Dalvin Cook will form a formidable one-two punch in the backfield.
#Vikings GM Rick Spielman said Alexander Mattison has “the ability to go forward on contact a lot like Latavius did. His ability to catch the ball. His ability in pass protection… We wanted something similar to a Murray-type. And we felt that Alexander can definitely do that.”
— Sean Borman (@SeanBoarMan) April 27, 2019
Productive, willful runner whose combination of functional patience and aggressive urgency helped him find his niche as an every-down workhorse. While he has the ability to create yards for himself with adequate elusiveness and power, he’s not a slasher or banger by NFL standards and he lacks burst to produce chunk plays on a regular basis. Mattison is a jack-of-all-trades backup with the ability to step into a heavy-duty role if called upon. His talent as a pass-catcher could move him up the RB food-chain.