5 second-year Vikings under pressure after the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Kene Nwangwu /

Kene Nwangwu – RB

The Vikings are blessed to have Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison to lean on in the running game. This obviously meant opportunities were limited for Kene Nwangwu, a fourth-round pick who mustered just 13 carries for 61 rushing yards in 2021.

This selection was probably made with the long-term in mind. But with head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman both removed from the equation, it remains to be seen just what the new regime perceives Nwangwu’s role to be moving forward.

If this wasn’t bad enough, the Vikings didn’t exactly display the greatest confidence in Nwangwu when they selected Ty Chandler out of North Carolina. A move that put into significant doubt his status as the No. 3 option.

Chandler has a lot of similar traits, and the upside might actually be higher, providing expectations are met at the next level. One thing that Nwangwu does have going for him is productivity on special teams, which saw the former fourth-round pick secure two kickoff return touchdowns during his rookie campaign.

This will be one of the training camp battles to keep a close eye on. Nwangwu has his work cut out, but there is some additional experience within the set-up that he can now call upon if required.