With their final pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. . .presumably, anyway. . .the Minnesota Vikings took a player that could potentially come in and make things more complicated at one position for the purple.
With the 222nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected running back DeWayne McBride from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
McBride has been one of the most productive backs in America over the past couple of seasons, as he’s rushed for nearly 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Blazers over the past few years. With the Vikings looking at a bit of uncertainty at the running back position, he could have an opportunity to contribute early.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic has McBride as the #13 running back in this year’s draft class. Here’s what Brugler has to say about McBride:
A two-year starter at UAB, McBride was a record-setting back in former offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent’s outside zone scheme. After an impressive sophomore season, he led the FBS in rushing yards per game (155.7) and per carry (7.4) in 2022, setting numerous UAB records, including rushing yards in a season (1,713) and game (272). With his compact build and shifty feet, McBride absorbs contact well with knee-bend and toughness to quickly regain his balance (his 4.6 yards post-contact ranked No. 1 in the FBS in 2022). Though he has instinctive run qualities, his lower body and eyes aren’t always synced up, and his ordinary burst and long speed will be more noticeable vs. NFL defenses. Overall, McBride is unproven as a pass catcher and blocker, which might restrict his NFL role, but his contact balance, vision and lateral agility are among the best this running back draft class has to offer. He projects best in a zone scheme.
We still don’t know what, if anything, the Vikings plan on doing with Dalvin Cook, and the Vikings still have Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and Kene Nwangwu in the mix at running back. We’re going to have to see how the Vikings try to make their running back room work going forward, but McBride does have plenty of promise.
Welcome to Minnesota, DeWayne!