Free-Agent Running Back No. 4
2023 Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler is another back who is veering toward the running back wall, but he could be a solid piece as a complementary receiver going forward.
With 628 rushing yards, Ekeler had his lowest total since collecting 530 yards in 2020. But while Ekeler has lost some of his top-end speed, he remains an effective receiver with 51 catches for 436 yards and a touchdown last season.
Ekeler’s success rate as a receiver was a career-low 43.2 percent in 2023, but it’s an outlier from his 51.1 percent career success rate.
With Vikings running backs struggling to find success in the screen game, Ekeler could represent an upgrade while also bringing more possibilities to Kevin O’Connell’s offense.
The days of Ekeler being an unquestioned starter are probably numbered. But if he can remain an effective receiver out of the backfield, he has more than enough left to help Minnesota out at a projected cost of $4.8 million next season, per Over The Cap.