3 running backs the Vikings can draft to replace Alexander Mattison in 2024

Former Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen
Former Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings signing of free-agent Aaron Jones this offseason all but shuts down the idea of the team selecting a running back early in this year's NFL Draft to lead the offensive backfield in 2024.

With that being said, Minnesota could still be in the market for a running back when the draft rolls around in April, as their current backfield of Jones, Ty Chandler, and Kene Nwangwu leaves a lot to be desired in the strength department.

The Vikings could consider adding a "power back" to its current backfield, as there seems to be a potential need for a short-yardage back.

With an intriguing running back draft class coming up, Minnesota should be able to find a replacement for Alexander Mattison, but which 2024 prospects would fill that hole the best?

3 running backs the Minnesota Vikings can select in the NFL Draft to replace Alexander Mattison in 2024

Audric Estime - Notre Dame

Audric Estime is the definition of a "power back."

Estime is a staunch 5-foot-11, 221 pounds, and NFL scouts tout him for his tenacious running style. He is likely never going to be a workhorse back in the league due to his lack of all-around ability, but his powerful running will certainly land him a spot on a team, and Minnesota could be the perfect fit.

While Aaron Jones and Ty Chandler are backs that can do it all, their lack of size and strength could be cause for concern when it comes to short-yardage situations for the Vikings next season. But that concern would go out the window if Minnesota adds Estime to the mix.

If the Vikings want to improve their abysmal red zone running numbers, adding a tank like Estime into the backfield could be the perfect solution.

Braelon Allen - Wisconsin

Without a doubt, Braelon Allen is the most physically imposing running back in this year's draft pool.

Allen is 6-foot-1 and weighs around 240 pounds. He was recruited out of high school as a potential linebacker prospect, but he ultimately chose to remain as a running back, and he was very impressive in his three years at Wisconsin.

The biggest issue with Allen is that he is unrefined as a pure runner and isn't an impressive receiver out of the backfield. He is simply just a robust and pure athlete who needs some work, but his raw athleticism cannot go unnoticed.

If Minnesota were to draft Allen, using him as a short-yardage option would seem logical, as his immense size makes him an ideal power back with room to grow all around. Wisconsin has shown the ability to produce great NFL running backs, and Allen could be the next in line.

Blake Corum - Michigan

During his final college season, Blake Corum rushed for 1,245 yards and 27 touchdowns to help lead his Michigan Wolverines to a national championship victory.

With video game numbers like that, one would assume that Corum is the likely consensus RB1 in this year's draft pool and a lock to go in the top two rounds, but that just isn't the case.

Corum is a smaller back, standing at only 5-foot-8, but he does bring a compact frame, as he weighs in around 210 pounds. He is also already 23 years old, with a lot of tread on his tires after playing in such a run-heavy scheme at Michigan.

Another knock on Corum is his unproven pass-catching ability, so he appears as much a pure runner as anyone in this class.

With all that being said, he could be just the player to replace Mattison in Minnesota. His proven ability as a goal-line back could be exactly what the Vikings are looking for, as he has shown time and time again that he is not afraid to fight for the tough extra yards.

Corum may not be an every-down back in the NFL, but there is a place for him on a team in the league, and the Vikings could benefit from his services.

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