Player No. 3
Alexander Mattison - RB
This would be a truly shocking cut, but one that isn't completely off the spectrum, just mostly. Dalvin Cook is done with the Vikings for 2023, which makes Alexander Mattison the default No. 1 running back, which was the likely reason he was re-signed this offseason.
Mattison is a quality back who runs with deceptive speed and good power. His vision can be suspect at times, but he is an asset in the passing game. It'll be exciting to see what he can do as a full-time starter in the league. The question is, will he get that chance?
The Vikings used a seventh-round draft pick on DeWayne McBride from UAB earlier this year. Like Mattison, he's a powerful runner with deceptive speed. He finally just signed his rookie contract and is now practicing with the team.
It's happened many times in the past where either a late-round running back or even an undrafted running back makes a push in the preseason. They keep turning heads in practice and in preseason games, and by the start of the regular season, they become the team's primary runner.
If this scenario plays out in Minnesota, the Vikings could find Mattison expendable. They could roll with McBride as the starter and then use Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler as change-of-pace backs. Fullback C.J. Ham would still be around for emergency purposes too.
This could actually work as Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell proved the Vikings will be a passing team as long as he's the one calling the plays, and the running back position will always be second fiddle.
Mattison being cut would truly be shocking, but while it is out there, it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility.