Underrated cut candidate exists in the Vikings offensive backfield

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Alexander Mattison
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Alexander Mattison /

Running back Alexander Mattison seems like a lock for the Minnesota Vikings final 2022 roster. But could the depth of his position group lead to him getting cut this summer?

For the last eight seasons, the offensive scheme of the Minnesota Vikings has been built around their rushing attack. The Vikings will still be running the ball in 2022, but it will likely be done in a more creative way than just the standard two-yard run up the gut that seemed to make a frequent appearance in the team’s offense during the last eight years.

Alexander Mattison is someone who was brought in by the previous regime, and although it seems like he’s a lock for the No. 2 running back job behind Dalvin Cook this year, the team’s new offensive leadership could opt to move in a different direction.

Especially since Minnesota’s new regime has reportedly been “pleasantly surprised” with the depth of their current running back group during the team’s spring practices this offseason according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

Could the Minnesota Vikings move on from Alexander Mattison before the start of the 2022 season?

Mattison is a solid running back, but his skill-set might not be what the Vikings‘ new coaching staff is looking for from the guys in their offensive backfield.

When looking at all of the running backs on Minnesota’s current roster, Mattison kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. The majority of the Vikings’ current rushers offer a variety of speed and athleticism, while Mattison utilizes his power and strength out on the field more than anything else.

New Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell has mentioned the “illusion of complexity” multiple times over the last few months when speaking about the team’s offensive philosophy. O’Connell wants to confuse opposing defenses by forcing them to prepare for multiple offensive strategies at once.

Guys like Dalvin Cook, Kene Nwangwu, and even rookie Ty Chandler allow the Vikings to fully utilize their “illusion of complexity” philosophy, while opposing defenses might have a better idea about what Minnesota’s offense is going to do if Mattison is on the field.

It’s still possible that the Vikings’ new coaching staff could figure out a good role for Mattison for the 2022 campaign. But Minnesota moving on from their current No. 2 running back before the start of the upcoming regular season might not be as shocking as some think it is.

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