Vikings Host Productive RB Prospect

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The draft is coming closer. Minnesota is holding the 23rd overall pick, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has many holes to fill. Among those positions is wide receiver after the departure of Adam Thielen. The Vikings receiving room has Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn in it but not much besides them.

In addition to a new weapon for the offense, the defense needs help after an atrocious 2022 season. Last year’s rookies, Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans, are currently projected to have huge roles in the CB group, but their inexperience is a big problem. The Vikings desperately need to upgrade that position to fix the defense. Help on the defensive line and another linebacker are some other needs.

Vikings Host Productive RB Prospect

Vikings Host Productive RB Prospect
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Running back is currently not one of those needs, but the Vikings are still doing their homework. The purple team hosted one of the prospects for a top-30 pre-draft visit. UAB running back DeWayne McBride is visiting the Vikings on Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero.

The runner is an interesting target because the Vikings don’t have any problems at the position. All five backs from 2022 returned to the team, including free agent Alexander Mattison who signed a lucrative deal. Starter Dalvin Cook is on the team just like fullback C.J. Ham, return specialist Kene Nwangwu, and last year’s draft pick Ty Chandler.

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However, Cook is still a candidate to leave the team, likely via trade. While he still has some juice left, running backs don’t have a lot of value in today’s NFL, especially on a pass-heavy offense like the Vikings. Only the Chargers and the Buccaneers had a higher passing percentage than the Vikings, and Cook’s colossal contract doesn’t make much sense for the team. A trade would save the organization almost $8 million of Cook’s cap hit.

Mattison’s contract implies that he was brought back to be the guy in the backfield. In recent years, the successful teams in the league all had a cheap and replaceable running back, preferably in a committee. That’s where draft prospect McBride comes into play.

McBride played in 31 games for UAB in the Conference USA and recorded fabulous numbers of 3,523 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. His career average per run was 7.3 yards.

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He ran for 120 or more yards in ten of the 11 games in 2022. McBride offers great vision and a good combination of power, speed, and agility. In addition to that, the running back has scheme flexibility, so he fits the Vikings. Among the worries listed are the subpar competition he went up against and some fumble issues. McBride has never been used as a receiver. He only caught five passes for 29 yards in his college career.

The prospect is viewed as a day 3 pick, a sweet spot for running backs, and would be a great compliment for Mattison and Chandler in the new committee in Minnesota after 16 years of lead backs Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt