6 players the Vikings should have drafted instead of Irv Smith Jr.

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) A.J. Brown
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) A.J. Brown /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Tony Pollard /

Tony Pollard – RB

Yes, running backs don’t matter, and taking Tony Pollard in the second round would have been a massive reach. But the Vikings were clearly looking for a running back after taking Alexander Mattison in the third round, and Pollard could have been a dynamic complement to Dalvin Cook.

At this point in his career, Cook was dangerously trending toward being a bust. He suffered a torn ACL that ended his rookie season (2017) after four games and then missed half of 2018 while fighting through a hamstring injury. Getting a second explosive running back should have been a priority, and Pollard could have erupted in this role.

While Pollard only posted a 4.52 second time in the 40-yard dash, that’s more than enough to find the open holes in Gary Kubiak’s zone-rushing scheme. Even as the Vikings switched to Kevin O’Connell’s scheme last year, it still has the same principles of that offense, which means plenty of room for big plays.

This would have come in handy a few years ago when Cook was looking for a new contract. With Pollard on the roster, the Vikings could have let Cook walk after his rookie deal and rode out two cheap years with Pollard until he was due for a new contract this offseason.

Things haven’t turned out all that bad with Cook, but with the concept of rotating backfields, Pollard would have been a nice fit.