With the 2014 NFL Draft just around the corner, it’s time to explore some options for the Minnesota Vikings at various positions. One position that may be worth a look at would be running back. Before everyone jumps on saying that the Vikes have Adrian Peterson, this is more a thought about a backup for him. Peterson has been dealing with some injury issues in recent years and also could need a break once in a while during a long drive. The question would be which players in the draft would fit Minnesota the best.
It is likely that the team isn’t going to draft a backup running back in the first round or even the second round so that takes out players like Carlos Hyde, Bishop Sankey and even Tre Mason. The player that should get some consideration would be Boston College’s Andre Williams. He is a big body at 5-11 and 230 pounds and could be a grinder like Toby Gerhart was for the team. Williams just completed a 2,177-yard season at Boston College and in the right situation, getting 8-10 carries a game could become someone who benefits the Vikings in a big way.
Another player that could be had later in the draft would be Wisconsin’s James White. He is 5-9 and 204 pounds and just rushed for 1,444 yards for the Badgers last season. He is familiar with the cold winter weather in the Midwest and averaged over six yards per carry last season. He is also a solid receiver with 39 catches in 2013. White sounds like a perfect third down back that can find a hole to burst through or can catch a pass out of the backfield to get a pivotal first down. White is projected to go in the fourth or fifth round which could be the perfect spot to draft him. Here’s proof of what he can do.
If the team wants to go with another bruising back however, there are later options like Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney or Toledo’s David Fluellen. Each of those three brings bulk to the table which is needed especially in the NFC North late in the season. White would likely be the best option out there especially with the Vikings having so many holes to fill and that he is the best multi-dimensional player of the group mentioned who can be drafted outside the first three rounds. It all depends on how long the organization believes Peterson will continue to be the offensive force that he currently is. It is best to have insurance though just in case.