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2021 NFL Draft Results: Minnesota Vikings select Kene Nwangwu

A running back to kick off Day 3

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Oregon v Iowa State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With their first selection on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings made a bit of an unusual move by grabbing a running back.

With the 119thth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected Kene Nwangwu, a running back from Iowa State University.

Nwangwu rushed for 744 yards and four touchdowns for the Cyclones this past season, but his biggest impact was as a kick returner, where he holds the Iowa State record and is among the Big 12’s all-time leaders in that category.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Nwangwu as the #16 running back in this year’s draft class. Here’s what Brugler has to say about Nwangwu:

Nwangwu must improve his discipline as a running back, but he displays breakaway speed to start fast and finish faster with the ball in his hands. He holds the school record with a 26.85 kickoff return average (on 92 returns) and ranks No. 3 all-time in Big 12 history with 2,470 kick-return yards. Overall, Nwangwu must develop his patience, block recognition and receiving skills to warrant a spot on offense, but his home run speed and return skills could be his ticket to sticking on an NFL roster.

We know that the Vikings need some help in the return game, and it appears that this pick is one that they hope will go a long way towards solidifying that with the hopes that he can contribute on offense at some point as well.

Welcome to Minnesota, Kene Nwangwu!