3 reasons why Dalvin Cook is the best running back in the NFL right now

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Cook gets more out of his runs than the average running back

One of the biggest reasons that running backs have been devalued in recent years is that coaches are better at scheming up front.

With athletic offensive linemen paving the way, the need for a special running back has diminished and several UDFAs such as Raheem Mostert, Damien Williams, and Austin Ekeler have risen to the top of the food chain.

For the Vikings, Dalvin Cook has a value that nobody else has in that he gets more than what his offensive line gives him. This season, Cook ranks fifth among qualifying running backs with 3.57 yards per carry after contact (via Pro Football Focus). This is a continuation of his improvement during his first three full seasons in the league where he had 3.02 yards after contact in 2018 (20th among qualifiers) and 3.06 yards after contact in 2019 (26th).

This comes in handy behind an offensive line that has seen its share of struggles since Cook arrived in Minnesota. With the annual “can he play guard?” meme playing out in front of him, all Cook has done is turn nothing into something.

This is something that his backup, Alexander Mattison hasn’t done consistently as he gained an average of 3.22 yards after contact last season (16th among qualifiers), but just 2.81 yards after contact this year (28th).

Getting more out of every run should put the Vikings in better situations, especially when they have the old school approach of running the ball on 2nd and 10.