With the 222nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB. McBride was ranked 139th on the industry consensus board and was the 12th ranked running back.
The Vikings acquired the 222nd pick in a trade down with the 49ers on the second night of the draft.
McBride was not able to do any of the pre-draft athletic testing due to a hamstring injury. He’s listed at 5’10”, 215 pounds with 30.375” arms and 9.375” hands. He benchpressed 20 reps (225 pounds). He is 21 years old.
McBride was a workhorse back for the Blazers the last couple years, and one of the most productive running backs in college football. He was first-team All-CUSA in 2022.
PFF Profile and Stats
Below are a few of the leading media scouting reports on McBride.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic
BACKGROUND: DeWayne “Debo” McBride Jr., who has five sisters, grew up in northern Florida with his mother (Melissa Hill) while also living with his grandmother at times. He was introduced to football by his father (DeWayne) and was a standout running back throughout youth levels. McBride started his prep career at Bradford High School in Starke and moved up to varsity as a freshman. He transferred to Fleming Island High School for his sophomore and junior seasons, helping the team to an 11-3 record in 2017. For his senior season, he transferred again, this time to Vanguard High School in Ocala where his uncle (DeWhitt Betterson), who was a productive running back at Troy (2001-04), was on the coaching staff. In his final season, McBride rushed for 963 yards and 12 touchdowns on 121 carries (8.0 average), adding 17 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack as a linebacker on defense. McBride also lettered in track (relays and throws) at Vanguard and set personal-bests in the shot put (44 feet 2.25 inches) and discus (147-10.75).
A three-star recruit, McBride was the No. 111 running back in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 266 recruit in Florida. He collected numerous FBS-level offers from programs like Coastal Carolina, Louisville, Purdue, Rutgers, Troy and Tulane. But McBride enjoyed his visit to UAB and committed to former head coach Bill Clark. He was the fifth-ranked recruit in the Blazers’ 2020 class. His younger brother (Dejon) is a three-star defensive tackle recruit in the 2023 class with high-profile offers from schools like Louisville and Ohio State. His cousin (DeWhitt Betterson Jr.) is a redshirt freshman running back at Troy. McBride opted out of the 2022 bowl game and declared early for the 2023 NFL Draft.
STRENGTHS: Remarkable contact balance with the innate ability to keep his legs alive and feet afloat (1,072 rushing yards after contact in 2022) … patient between the tackles with quick-read vision to hit the crease or cutback lane … displays the lateral agility to quickly switch gaps and get north-south … above-average proximity awareness and has enough shake to string moves together at the second level (eight carries of 45-plus yards in 2022) … shifty without gearing down … highly determined and beats himself up when grounded by a single defender … remarkable final season in college, finishing No. 2 in the country with 1,713 rushing yards in only 11 games — also set school records in rushing touchdowns (19) and total points (114) in a single season.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t have separating speed and can be tracked down from behind … average backfield burst and needs to rely on his quick reactor hit holes with proper timing … his eyes get ahead of his lower body at times, creating wasted steps in his gather-and-cut motion … flashes the ability to convert his speed to power as a runner but needs to use consistent pad level to finish through defenders … had five catches in his career and is unproven as a receiver and blocker … fumbled nine times over the past two seasons, and ball security is a sincere concern … was sidelined at the combine because of a right hamstring injury (March 2023) … rushed for 100-plus yards in every game in 2022 except against the LSU defense (managed just 2.6 yards per carry).
SUMMARY: 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.
Lance Zierlein, nfl.com
Productive runner with the physical/athletic attributes that could create an upward trajectory in the right situation. McBride is experienced and comfortable running in all blocking schemes. He’s smooth-hipped and runs with a good blend of shiftiness, and power. He would benefit from a quicker tempo and decisiveness inside. He must eliminate ball security issues or he could end up falling out of favor quickly. McBride’s lack of third down value could hurt his draft slotting, but his upside is worth a Day 3 selection.
- Ran for 120 or more yards in 10 of 11 games in 2022.
- Looks comfortable running behind every blocking scheme.
- Above average vision to find what the run is offering him.
- Looks off tackler to buy time for his cuts.
- Generates collision momentum up to second level.
- Oily hips allow him to swivel and stride around tacklers.
- Able to get to sharp, back-side cuts on inside zone runs.
- Power and finesse at his disposal near goal line.
- Can be a little cautious as an inside runner.
- Burst between the tackles is just average.
- Can be a little inconsistent allowing blocks to develop.
- Fumble woes will make him a target for defenses looking to punch the ball out.
- Almost no pass-catching experience over three seasons.
Projection: 4th round
NFL Comparable: Marlon Mack
- He is a physical runner with balance and strength to break tackles and stay on his feet.
- Excellent vision to see cutback lanes and surprising lateral agility to take advantage.
- Physical in pass pro and always looking for work in that area.
- Surprising wiggle and shake for his pad level and run style that you don’t normally see.
- Ability to create chunk plays despite lack of top-end speed.
- Defenders will feel his contact
- Ball security history raises the question as to whether it will be an issue in the NFL.
- Lacks natural hands to be productive in the passing game.
- Lacks speed to pull away and complete house calls or big yardage plays.
McBride runs a little high in traffic, but he keeps churning his legs to push the pile or bounce off of contact. His high pad level and second effort can lead to some of his ball security issues. He has very good balance when he takes shots to his thighs, defenders are going to feel it when they tackle him. He has very good vision and run instincts and has surprising wiggle and shake for his run style and pad level. He often finds his way to space, and it is then that you see his lack of top-end speed.
McBride rarely pulls away from defenders and you even see them eat up his angle advantage. While he is not going to run away from defenders, he can still create his share of big plays at the next level with his vision, balance, wiggle and tackle-breaking ability. He shows that he can play under control in pass pro with feet, balance and pad level. He will strike rushers and is always looking for work to help. However, he doesn’t always show a great feel for the protection or when to release and give his quarterback space and an outlet. He will also look to strike and miss his target chipping or helping.
McBride’s stride and lack of burst doesn’t lend itself to being a receiving threat on anything other than check downs and screens, and his hands did not appear to be the most natural in limited exposure. He has starter-level NFL run skills and a physical play style that should help him contribute on special teams while he learns the nuances of NFL pass protection. His physical style and willingness to strike rushers should endear him to his quarterback. He should be a solid mid-round selection with the chance to develop into a starter.
Pro Comparison: Devontae Booker (New York Giants, 4th Round Draft Pick in 2016)
DeWayne McBride vs. LSU (2022)
DeWayne McBride vs. Western Kentucky (2022)
DeWayne McBride vs. Liberty (2022)
DeWayne McBride vs. BYU (2021)
DeWayne McBride vs. Georgia Southern (2022)
DeWayne McBride’s Fit with the Vikings
McBride will likely begin his career with the Vikings as the 4th back on the depth chart (assuming the Vikings part ways with Dalvin Cook) and the backup power back to Alexander Mattison. Although wildly productive in Conference USA, McBride will need to develop in a few areas while he’s a backup. Lowering his pad level (he has an upright running style that may not translate well in the league) and improving ball security will be two aspects of his running game to improve. Apart from that, he’ll also need to develop as a receiver and blocker, and as a special teamer, to see the field and maximize his chances to earn a roster spot.
Making the roster and becoming a good special teamer would be a successful rookie season for McBride- along with showing well in practice and in pre-season games.
What level will DeWayne McBride reach in the NFL?
This poll is closed
Top ten in his position
Above average starter
Below average starter
He won’t be a starter