6 running backs the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Pooka Williams Jr.
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Pooka Williams Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) Jermar Jefferson – Oregon State /

Jermar Jefferson (Oregon State)


  • Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 215 pounds

2020 Stats:

  • 858 rushing yards (6.5 ypc)
  • 9 catches, 67 receiving yards
  • 7 TDs (all rushing)

Jermar Jefferson is probably my favorite fit for the Vikings as far as running backs go in this class. He fits the zone scheme well and he can be a nice complement to Dalvin Cook as a space-eater. Jefferson averaged 5.7 yards per attempt across his three seasons at Oregon State and he has shown some explosiveness in the process.

His height would indicate that he is a smaller back, but Jefferson can really pack a punch behind his 215-pound frame, and he is not afraid of contact. He may struggle with the home runs that were so common at Oregon State, but he has the skill-set to be a reliable backup in the NFL.

With just 43 catches to his credit in college, he may not fit the bill of a pass-catching weapon that Kenneth Gainwell has attached, but Jefferson is solid as a check-down option with the creativity to make plays after the catch. He had plenty of success in space and against linebackers during his college career, which is never a bad thing for running backs.

If Jefferson is available in the fourth round or later, I could certainly see the Vikings taking a chance on him in their offense. He would be a much better fit as a backup than Alexander Mattison, who could shift to more of a downhill-runner role in certain situations.