Best and worst Minnesota Vikings third-round picks of last decade

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Alexander Mattison
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Alexander Mattison /

Alexander Mattison – RB (2019)

Sure it’s early, but Alexander Mattison has already proven worthy of being selected with a third-round pick.

Like Jerick McKinnon, many weren’t that aware of Mattison heading into last year’s draft and they were shocked when the Vikings traded down multiple times to the end of the third round where they finally took this bruising back. It didn’t take long for the naysayers to become fans.

Mattison is a strong runner who rarely goes down on the first contact. He runs with great vision, balance, and power. When he took some snaps in relief of Dalvin Cook last season, Minnesota’s offense continued to roll as he’s got sneaky speed for a man with such a compact and powerful build.

Mattison is also an efficient receiver out of the backfield. The only surprise about his 2019 performance was that he only scored one touchdown. For a guy who was supposed to be the Vikings’ short-yardage and goal-line specialist, this was a bit concerning.

Mattison missed the last three games of the season, but in limited duty still rushed for almost 500 yards. He is an excellent complement to Cook and one of the better backup running backs in the league.

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If Cook goes down again next season, Minnesota can rest easy knowing they have an all-purpose back in Mattison waiting in the wings.