Minnesota Vikings 2018 season offseason forecast: Running backs

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

The Minnesota Vikings have stability at running back entering the 2018 NFL season, but will still need to make at least one transaction this offseason.

The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2017 season with one of the experienced and talented running back groupings in the National Football League but finished without their top draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

That said, Minnesota still finished 7th in the league in rushing yards last year despite being 23rd in yards per attempt, giving plenty of room for improvement when the 2018 season rolls around for the Vikings.

That said, most of the players at running back will be returning for next season and others will be making a comeback from injury. Here is a list of the players available.

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Dalvin Cook will be the man during the 2018 NFL season and will be spelled and backed up by Latavius Murray. Fullback C.J. Ham will be the lead blocker and a sneaky short yardage option or receiver out of the backfield.

The loss of Jerick McKinnon will be bigger than a lot of people think, but the shifty young back will get a bigger role with a different franchise and will not likely return to the team. Also, Sankey will be brought back or replaced.

Offseason options

  • Bring back Jerick McKinnon – McKinnon will try to get a more featured role this offseason, and that won’t be splitting the leftover carries with Murray. However, if the market is cold on Jerick, there is a chance the team could bring him back.
  • Find an elusive running back in free agency – If McKinnon ends up signing elsewhere, the Vikings should search for an established shifty running back to replace him an be comfortable in the rotation.
  • Draft a pass-catching back – If the Vikings are in need of a running back and don’t want to pay a premium price, they could always find one in the draft. Considering they will likely be spending money in free agency to re-sign players and bring in free agents, they could save a lot of money in the draft.

What the plan should be

When McKinnon leaves in free agency, the Vikings will have Cook, Murray, and Ham to carry the load. The best plan of attack for the Vikings is to draft a running back to save money against the salary cap and develop into a specific role for the team.

Next: Where will Case Keenum end up in 2018?

What do you think the Minnesota Vikings should do heading into the 2018 NFL season when it comes to the running back position? Let’s hear what your plan of attack would be in the comments section below.