Vikings Could Add a Playmaker in an Unconventional Place

Rick Spielman Would
Oct 1, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) warms up before a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Royal Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK.

With draft day upon us, the Minnesota Vikings have been tightly linked to multiple exciting prospects. On the offensive side it has been mostly quarterbacks and wide receivers, but what if the Vikings add a playmaker from an unconventional place, especially for today’s NFL? Specifically, what if they find their next Adrian Peterson?

Taking a running back in the first round is not often seen as a wise choice. The Minnesota Vikings have now employed Dalvin Cook for years, and gotten a high level of production from him, but even he slipped into the second round.

Obviously, the Vikings went all in when selecting Adrian Peterson 7th overall out of Oklahoma in the 2007 draft, but that was a different time, and players like that don’t come around often.

Enter Bijan Robinson.

Vikings Could Add a Playmaker in an Unconventional Place
Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson takes a photo with band member Giorgy Ruiz before the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022 in San Antonio. © Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Being an Adrian Peterson level of back is a high bar to clear. You’re obviously talking about a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the best running backs to ever play the game. Expecting Robinson to be that or bust is a silly proposition, but being something close would warrant strong consideration for a first round pick even in today’s version of the NFL.’s Peter Schrager released his final mock draft recently, and Robinson is the pick he has going to Minnesota. Schrager says, “Bijan falls to Minnesota and an already-good offensive team gets the best offensive player in this draft.” He would not be wrong in that the Vikings offense is already good, and there seems to be little doubt that Robinson is truly a special talent.

Vikings GM Adores
Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs for a touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings going with a running back in the first round would certainly signify the assumed end of Dalvin Cook’s time in Minnesota. That writing has been on the wall for a while, but this would represent a nail in the coffin.

It would be somewhat odd to go this route after agreeing to a new deal with Alexander Mattison, especially with the assumption that he would be returning as the bell cow back. Although Robinson is a dual threat type of player, he still wouldn’t be lining up opposite of Justin Jefferson, and therefore doesn’t command the same coverage another wide receiver would.

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas running back Bijan Robinson (RB21) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Ultimately, it would be hard to find fault in the talent should Robinson be the pick on Thursday night. It would be a questionable allocation of a draft asset, but finding more offensive talent certainly helps to mask a defense that undoubtedly needs to be hidden.

Robinson would be ushered in as a changing of the guard behind the quarterback, and if the Vikings can get anything close to the production they have from their last two star running backs, they would need to be happy.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.