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Approaching The Draft: Running Backs

Chris Wells
CURRENT STATUS: The Vikings only have two running backs currently on the roster. However, since those two players are Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, nobody is too worried about it. Maurice Hicks was released a while back, so there is room for the Vikings to bring in another back. It is safe to assume that they would like to find a young guy who will eventually be able to replace Taylor as Peterson’s primary backup. It wouldn’t hurt if the new guy could also return punts.

ROUND ONE: Of all the positions the Vikings can pretty much be counted out of with their first pick, it is running back. While it is conceivable that Knowshon Moreno could be available when the Vikings are on the clock, it seems highly unlikely that they would select him unless they traded away Chester Taylor who is in his contract year. Even then, I wouldn’t guess the Vikings would take a running back. If Moreno is still on the board at #22 however, you can bet the Vikings will be working the phones and talking trade with teams that do need a running back.

WHO THEY SHOULD TARGET: Devin Moore of Wyoming is someone the Vikings might glance at very late in the draft. Moore is an under the radar type of player who compares to Felix Jones. For the Vikes, he’s worth a 7th round flyer if he’s still there. He can be third string, compete for a return man job, and if he sticks to the roster then great! If not, try again next year.

LEAST LIKELY TO BE TARGETED: Chris Wells will likely get picked long before the Vikings even get to start thinking about selecting their first rounder. However, even if he were to fall to the Vikings for some reason, I don’t think they’ll hesitate to pass him up. Rick Spielman has stated that the Vikings have already taken many players with work ethic and character issues off their board. I suspect Wells is one of those players. Plus, as mentioned before, why on earth would they select a running back in the first round?

MOST LIKELY TO BE TARGETED: I think the Vikings really like practice squad player Albert Young. The fact that they seem confident in his abilities may suggest that the Vikings will only add an undrafted running back. One guy to keep an eye on is Corey Lewis of Northern Iowa. While he needs to bulk up a bit to play in the NFL, Lewis had a productive college career both running and as a pass catcher. He’s someone who the Vikings will doubtless have on their speed-dial if he goes undrafted.

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