6 running backs the Vikings could select in the 2023 NFL Draft

Arizona State RB Xazavian Valladay
Arizona State RB Xazavian Valladay / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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Minnesota Vikings
Texas RB Roschon Johnson / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Roschon Johnson (Texas)


Height: 6-foot-0 | Weight: 219 pounds

2022 Stats:

  • 554 Rushing Yards
  • 6 Yards Per Carry
  • 14 Receptions
  • 128 Receiving Yards

I know this isn’t the Texas running back that many were hoping for, but Roschon Johnson is a fine player in his own right.

It’s fair to assume that the Vikings aren’t that desperate at the running back position to draft Bijan Robinson, but they could choose to select his backup in college, who is just itching for a chance to prove himself. Backup running backs from Texas may have a knack for performing, as former Kansas City Chiefs stud Priest Holmes was the backup to former Heisman champion Ricky Williams at Texas.

Johnson has shown in a limited role that he can be a pass-catching back, and his large frame makes him an excellent blocker when needed. He has a lot less wear and tear on his body compared to other backs in this draft due to being overshadowed by Robinson, which means that Johnson should be fresh and ready for an NFL career.

The biggest knock on Johnson from a Vikings standpoint is that he mirrors Alexander Mattison’s game. Just one inch taller and three pounds heavier than Mattison, Johnson also plays a physical brand of football while lacking elite agility and breakaway speed.

Johnson would not be much of a change-of-pace back if he came to Minnesota, as he aligns with Mattison in a lot of ways. There’s nothing wrong with having two strong running backs to carry the load for you, but we will see how Minnesota looks to build its running back room.