10 bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for the 2024 offseason

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Bold Vikings Prediction No. 8

The Vikings will draft a running back

One of the biggest storylines from last season was the Vikings’ desire to move on from running back Dalvin Cook.

While they got rid of his cap hit just over $14 million, they took a major step back when they decided to re-sign Alexander Mattison and make him their RB1.

In 2023, Mattison became the 13th player since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have no rushing touchdowns with a minimum of 180 carries in a season.

That feat is even more rare, considering just two players have done it since 2000, and Melvin Gordon was the last player to do it during his rookie year in 2015.

With $2.75 million of his $3.3 million base salary guaranteed, it’s unlikely the Vikings will look to move off Mattison. But they could try to look for his replacement in next year’s draft.

One of the biggest things Minnesota will be looking for is a back that can generate yards after contact.

Mattison ranked 41st among qualifying running backs, averaging 2.76 yards after contact last season, and Ty Chandler wasn’t much better, ranking 36th with 2.85 yards after contact.

While this draft doesn’t have an elite prospect, it has players that can fit that demand, including Notre Dame’s Audric Estime (4.27 yards after contact), Oregon’s Bucky Irving (3.98), and USC’s MarShawn Lloyd (3.97).

Each of these names could be taken on Day 3 of the draft and could provide a much-needed upgrade in the NFL Draft.