NFL Analyst Claims Vikings Found a Gem Playmaker in Draft

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings loaded up on defensive personnel in the 2022 NFL Draft, using three of the first four picks to add Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), and Brian Asamoah (LB).

The other selection was Ed Ingram, an offensive lineman from LSU.

After that, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah found a couple of potential late-round playmakers. And one of them activated the radar for ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.

His name is Ty Chandler, a running back from North Carolina.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Adofo-Mensah found Chandler in the fifth round, not an uncommon spot for halfbacks, as men filling those positions have dwindled in draft importance as of late.

McShay said about the Chandler addition in Minnesota, “I love this guy — one of my favorite players in the entire draft class.”

He elaborated, “I’m surprised he’s at pick five, and I would say congratulations, Minnesota, you’ve got a starting running back. But they’ve already got a pretty good one in Dalvin Cook. So, a great backup. Let’s put it that way.”

If Chandler does rise to prominence with the Vikings, it will probably occur in 2023. McShay is correct about Cook — the existing RB1 earns about $12 million per season — and Alexander Mattison is under contract for one more year. The team also showcases the speedy Kene Nwangwu in the backfield.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings fans know, though, that Cook is bound to miss at least 2-3 games per year due to injury. Mattison, too, also tends to miss one or two contests. In that case, Chandler and Nwangwu would be waiting.

Otherwise, to effectuate McShay’s prophecy, Minnesota could move on from Cook and Mattison next offseason if it saw fit. Mattison is probably as good as gone due to the expiring rookie deal, and Cook has an opt-out clause in his contract for 2023. His future with the Vikings essentially depends on his desire to remain in Minnesota and how the team performs in 2022. If they underwhelm to the tune of 8-9 or so again, starting “fresh” with Chandler and Nwangwu could check some boxes.

Regardless, RB gems can be found in later rounds during this modern NFL era as the league switched to wide receivers as the main non-QB offensive positions of emphasis. And McShay is impressed with the Vikings selection of Chandler.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).