Vikings Finalize Deal with ‘Last Man Standing’ Rookie

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama???Birmingham running back Dewayne McBride (RB15) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter of time.

The Minnesota Vikings used their final draft pick of 2023 on running back DeWayne McBride on April 29th, and now that man is ready to go for 2023 and beyond.

Vikings Finalize Deal with ‘Last Man Standing’ Rookie

The Vikings Twitter account tweeted Tuesday, “RB DeWayne McBride has signed his rookie contract. All 6 Vikings 2023 draft picks are now under contract.”

Last Man
Nov 13, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; UAB Blazers running back DeWayne McBride (22) celebrates after running for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports.

McBride was the ‘last man standing’ in Minnesota’s draft class after 1st-Round wide receiver Jordan Addison signed on the dotted line on May 17th. The University of Alabama-Birmingham tailback is now under contract with the Vikings through the end of the 2026 season for $3.95 million.

This is the club’s full 2023 draft class with mandatory minicamp just five days away:

  • R1: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
  • R3: Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
  • R4: Jay Ward (S, LSU)
  • R5: Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
  • R5: Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
  • R7: DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)
Dec 18, 2021; Shreveport, LA, USA; UAB Blazers running back DeWayne McBride (22) breaks a tackle against the BYU Cougars linebacker Max Tooley (31) during the fourth quarter during the 2021 Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota scooped McBride late in the draft, joining a Vikings RB room already containing Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and Kene Nwangwu. Outwardly, it didn’t make much sense during the draft to add McBride, but about six weeks later, Minnesota reportedly cut ties with Dalvin Cook, the Vikings RB1 for the last six seasons. Now, the road is paved for a running back by committee, including Mattison, Chandler, McBride, and perhaps even Nwangwu.

McBride played in 31 games for UAB, tabulating remarkable numbers, with 3,523 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. His career average per run was 7.3 yards, an astounding figure. He’s just not much of a pass-catcher, a to-be-desired trait that might’ve scared general managers in April.

Nov 13, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; UAB Blazers running back DeWayne McBride (22) jumps over Marshall Thundering Herd safety E.J. Jackson (21) during the third quarter at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports.

And Minnesota should have a loaded offense, at least on paper. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will encounter playcalling and offensive line continuity for the first time in forever. The aforementioned Addison joins Jefferson to conceivably create the most fearsome WR duo on the planet. T.J. Hockenson patrols the middle of the field. And then the robust RB group is on tap to do damage.

McBride could’ve been a higher pick as soon as a half-decade ago, but the NFL has changed. General managers and offenses have adopted a ‘running backs are a dime a dozen’ approach, and front offices often wait until the draft’s later rounds to find productive runners. Such is the case for McBride. In the 2015 NFL Draft or so, he could’ve had a 3rd- or 4th-Round draft stock.

Minnesota ran the ball the third least in 2022 per playcalling percentage but has insinuated this offseason that more balance is on the way.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by