Could the Vikings Draft a Duck?


With the quarterback position being the talk of the offseason, there is plenty of steam surrounding Oregon’s Bo Nix going in the first round.

Could the Vikings Draft a Duck?

He hasn’t been heavily tied to the Minnesota Vikings thus far, but another Ducks teammate may make sense. Former Minnesota Gopher Bucky Irving could be a fit in the backfield.

The Vikings turned the page on Dalvin Cook prior to kickoff of the 2023 NFL season. Despite having been a long-tenured and productive back, Minnesota saw the writing on the wall. Cook was aging, and the production had started to dip. Even in a Kevin O’Connell offense that wasn’t built around running the ball, Cook had begun to slow from a production standpoint.

Draft a Duck
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The reins were turned over to Alexander Mattison, and there was belief that it could be a smooth transition. Mattison had flashed a very high production level in a reserve role, but very little of that translated to his time as a starter. Cam Akers came in and immediately looked like a better option, and Ty Chandler ultimately took over the starting role by the end of the year. The franchise must decide if they believe in the internal options, but bringing in a mid-round pick could also be in the cards.

Bucky Irving spent his freshman season with the Minnesota Gophers and transferred to Oregon with his eyes set on keeping a starting role. His impressive 2021 turned into an even better 2022, and last season, he put up a strong 6.3 yards per carry while racking up 1,180 yards in just 14 games. He found the end zone 11 times on the ground and contributed in the passing game as well.

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Minnesota will be looking for a multi-faceted back, which Irving brings to the table. Mattison is your traditional ground-and-pound runner, while Chandler is cut from a cloth similar to the Ducks’ product. Chandler struggled in pass protection, where the Vikings hesitated to hand over the role. Irving has held his own in that regard and would ultimately bring a nice skillset to the next level.

The Vikings won’t be looking to invest heavily in the running back position, and they shouldn’t need to if Irving is their choice. He could probably be had in the third or fourth round, which allows the organization to handle other needs before turning to his services.

Folks Are Now Mad
Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Having Irving make his way back to Minnesota would be a fun turn of events, and while he’s not the big-name Oregon draft prospect, he could be the one that the Vikings like best.

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.