For the first time in many, many years, there can actually be a discussion about who might lead the Minnesota Vikings in rushing touchdowns. Now that Adrian Peterson has moved on to New Orleans, someone else is going to get the majority of the scoring runs for this football team, and you can make a case for all three of the backs that the Vikings have on the roster this season.
The one holdover from last year’s team is Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon led the Vikings in rushing last season, but hasn’t really had much of a nose for the end zone in his career. In his three NFL seasons, he’s only found the end zone via the ground four times (though he has thrown in three receiving touchdowns as well). Even with the additions that the team has made this offseason, McKinnon still sees himself as being in the mix to be Minnesota’s lead back.
#Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon said in offseason workouts he went from 200 pounds to 211 and it's muscle. Says he's faster also.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) May 27, 2017
We’ll have to see how that develops, but McKinnon apparently expects to be a big part of the team’s running back rotation this year.
Prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, the answer to the question of who would lead the Vikings in rushing touchdowns likely would have been the newly-signed Latavius Murray. Last season, Murray ran the ball into the end zone 12 times. . .three more than the entire Vikings’ roster combined. . .for the Oakland Raiders. Of his 12 touchdown runs, nine of them were four yards or shorter (including six 1-yard scores), and 11 of them came from inside of 10 yards. His lone “long” touchdown run covered 22 yards.
Weighing in at about 230 pounds, Murray seems to be the best equipped to be a “goal line” sort of running back if the Vikings require one. That’s the role that Matt Asiata mostly filled over the past few seasons, but I think we can all agree that Murray is a much better back than Asiata is. . .or, at least, he’d better be, given what the Vikings are paying him.
On draft day, the Vikings made the move to jump up seven spots for the right to draft Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. Thought by some draft experts to be a top-ten talent in the entire 2017 NFL Draft class, Cook’s fall to the second round was something that the Vikings just couldn’t pass up. Pro Football Focus had him as their #1 running back in this year’s class, citing his yards gained after contact and his ability to make defenders miss.
Cook, sooner rather than later, is going to be the Vikings’ featured running back. He’s probably going to be the Week 1 starter, despite Murray’s presence, and will see the majority of the carries. But with Murray’s short-yardage prowess, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cook is going to find the end zone with any sort of frequency.
So, given the three options that the Vikings will have lining up behind (presumably) Sam Bradford in the backfield, who do you think will lead the Vikings in rushing touchdowns in 2017 as things stand right now?
Who do you think will lead the Minnesota Vikings in rushing touchdowns in 2017?
This poll is closed