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 Chris Thelen/Getty Images) CJ Marable – Coastal Carolina /

CJ Marable (Coastal Carolina)


  • Height: 5-foot-10 | Weight: 190 pounds

2020 Stats:

  • 887 rushing yards (5.2 ypc)
  • 31 catches, 228 receiving yards
  • 19 total TDs (12 rushing/7 receiving)

Coastal Carolina was one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 college football season and CJ Marable was a huge reason for their success as a do-it-all back. He dominated the field in all phases, going for 1,115 total yards and 19 touchdowns in his final season.

Marable was also a part-time kick returner, but he did not have as much success on special teams, averaging just 16.0 yards per return.

Marable is not going to wow anyone with his physical trait,s but he is simply a good running back who can find avenues for success when he has the ball in his hands. He reminds me quite a bit of Jerick McKinnon, but without as much pure speed.

Marable certainly has the speed to survive in the NFL, but he lacks the mind-blowing speed that we usually expect with players of his size. That’s not to say he can’t still win with his size and speed combo, but that does drop his draft value quite a bit.

Coastal Carolina ran an option offense that forced Marable into space as both a runner and receiving threat, which may not be the system he gets in the NFL. However, zone rushing offenses can find a way to get him involved in the run game while focusing on his receiving ability as the primary fit for him in the offense.

Jermar Jefferson might be my favorite fit based on value for the Vikings in this year’s class, but Marable is my favorite gimmick back that they could land.