And now our positional breakdown series moves to the running back position. Where are we there? Pretty much where we were at the end of the 2012 season. The depth chart as of today:
1. Adrian Peterson
What else needs to be said? Oh he wants to be more involved in the passing game. And he seems to be backing off those predictions of a 2500 yard season. Good. The predictions are dumb and useless. Wins are all that matter. Adrian wants to get back in the playoffs. He can carry this team there again. But I’m sure he’d prefer to have more help on the offensive side this year.
2. Toby Gerhart
I really thought they might draft a running back and move on from Toby Gerhart. But I guess they like the insurance he provides behind Adrian. He doesn’t provide much else. He’s not much of a receiver and he’s not a good third down back. If things go according to plan, Toby will have a very light workload this season.
3. Matt Asiata
He showed little flashes of something in the preseason and made the roster. Didn’t get a lot of look during the season but that was mostly because of the guy with 28 on his back. Not much left for the other backs when that guy is toting the rock. Could Asiata sneak his way up the depth chart once camp rolls around? If he can show enough receiving skills, I think the answer is yes. He could take snaps away from Gerhart. I would prefer to have a legit change-of-pace back – we did after all lose Percy Harvin – but whatever. Can’t have everything.
1. Jerome Felton
There’s a reason they brought this guy back. He did a great job in 2012 blocking for AD. It was a no-brainer giving this guy a new deal. He will be solid again this season. No reason to believe otherwise.
2. Zach Line
Can never have enough fullbacks. I guess.
Are we better off than last year?
It’s a wash right now. The talent was not really upgraded in free agency or the draft. Clearly the Vikings are content with their running back situation at this time. That’s what happens when you have 28. You count on his production being there and worry about other positions.