Fifth-Round Pick No. 1
Bucky Irving - RB (Oregon)
The Vikings can't currently run the ball, and it's unclear why. The backs aren't finding any room, but the offensive line continues to grade out well, according to PFF. Whether it's the backs or the offensive line, the Vikings need to bolster this position. Cam Akers just tore his Achilles and is done for the year, if not more, and DeWayne McBride didn't show much in the preseason to give anyone any reason to believe he can be a future contributor.
Alexander Mattison is failing as the lead back, and while Ty Chandler has looked impressive when given the chance, the coaching staff fails to give him opportunities. Irving started his college career at Minnesota before transferring to Oregon. He's been productive at both schools, proving to be an excellent receiver as well as a talented runner of the football.
He doesn't have elite size and lacks the frame to ever bulk up, which means he may never be a feature back but could be a very good complimentary piece. He's a patient runner who allows the holes to open up before shooting through them. He's got great vision and makes plays when the ball is in his hands. Running back could be an underrated need for the Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft, and Irving could end up being a player who could see plenty of snaps in a complementary role as a rookie.