The Minnesota Vikings do not have any concerns at the running back position. They have a top 1-2 punch, A veteran 3rd stringer, and a rookie that is excitingly fast. They also have one of the most dynamic fullbacks in the NFL to complete the position group.
This week, we continue our roster breakdown with the Minnesota Vikings running backs.
Many would say that Dalvin Cook is the best player on the Minnesota Vikings. He has been a top running back in the NFL the last two seasons having his name mentioned in NFL MVP talks several times. The Vikings offense revolves around Cook and for good reason.
Entering his 5th season, Cook is coming off the best season of his career. Last year he ran for 1557 yards from scrimmage reaching the end zone 16 times. He also had 361 receiving yards on 44 receptions. He has appeared in two straight Pro Bowls but was snubbed of being an All-Pro in 2020. Looking ahead to this upcoming season, expect the Vikings to continue to lean on Dalvin Cook. Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak will keep the same scheme his father Gary Kubiak used last season with a few new twists.
Alexander Mattison is an amazing change of pace to Dalvin Cook. He has a more physical running style that hurts defenses in a different way when Cook is off the field. In the last two seasons, Mattison reached just under 500 yards. With improved offensive line play, he should be able to surpass 500 yards for the first time in his career.
As long as he doesn’t miss giant holes as he did against the Seattle Seahawks that ultimately lost the Vikings the game, Mattison is a great second running back.
Third-string running backs don’t get a lot of action usually. Many of them make their mark on special teams. That is where Ameer Abdullah comes in. He is a solid reserve running back who excels on special teams. He is good in the return game and plays a role on just about every special team until. Abdullah has solidified his spot unless a new face can beat him at his own game.
Much like Abdullah, Kene Nwangwu has an opportunity to be a backup running back and a special teams force for the Vikings. He is one that fans should be rooting for because he ran a 4.29 second 40 yard dash at his pro day. You simply can teach that kind of speed. He could be a weapon in the return game.
You can’t talk about the running back position for Vikings without mentioning CJ Ham. While Ham’s actual running opportunities are limited, he is a major part of the success of Dalvin Cook's emergence. Ham is a smart and excellent lead blocker. He opens up lanes for the running backs to get to the next level of defenders