XFL Standout Is Now a Viking

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s not just Lucky Jackson.

The Minnesota Vikings added a different XFL standout on Thursday, this time bringing a running back on board for a look at the 90-man roster.

XFL Standout Is Now a Viking

He’s Abram Smith, an alumnus of XFL’s DC Defenders and the University of Baylor from 2017 to 2021.

XFL Standout Is Now
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The Vikings welcomed Jackson from the XFL, too, in May, and now he and Smith will attempt to steal roster spots when the payroll trims from 90 players to 53 on August 29th. Like Jackson, Smith faces a longshot bid to make the regular season roster, but, of course, anything is possible.

These are Minnesota’s halfbacks after the Smith addition:

  • Alexander Mattison
  • Ty Chandler
  • Kene Nwangwu
  • DeWayne McBride
  • Abram Smith
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The Vikings won’t keep five tailbacks for the active roster, so Smith will have to especially thrive if he plans to oust McBride or Nwangwu. The 24-year-old wasn’t chosen during the 2022 NFL Draft, instead joining the New Orleans Saints via undrafted free agency 15 months ago. He remained with the Saints throughout the summer of 2022 before last year’s roster cuts.

Smith was a tyrant — in a good way — in the XFL, leading the league in rushing last season and also gaining All-XFL Team recognition. He’s one of the top talents from that upstart organization.

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The 5’11” 220-pounder notched a tremendously good season as a senior at Baylor in 2022, tallying 1,601 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. But like many running backs from the last few years, vitality in the NFL draft seems to be dying off as general managers have recently implied through their actions that RBs are a ‘dime a dozen.’ Smith wasn’t drafted during last year’s cycle and has henced bounced around a bit, now landing in Minnesota.

Minnesota said goodbye to Dalvin Cook two months ago, paving the way for the aforementioned Mattison, plus some semblance of an RB committee, to take over this September. In theory, Smith could be included in that committee if he really stood out in the next three weeks.

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Smith was teammates at Baylor with Vikings defensive tackle James Lynch and Houston Texans defensive back Jalen Pitre.

He’ll turn 25 in September.


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 OverTheCap.com.