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Could the Vikings’ last draft pick make the biggest impact in 2023?

One pundit thinks it’s possible

NFL: MAY 12 Minnesota Vikings Rookie Minicamp

The Minnesota Vikings had one of the smaller draft classes of 2023, having selected just six players during April’s selection meeting. And while most are expecting the first player the team took, USC wide receiver Jordan Addison, to have a significant impact on the team, at least one expert is expecting a pretty significant impact from the team’s final selection.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports has listed one player drafted after Day 1 for each NFC team that he thinks could earn key roles as rookies, and his selection for the Vikings is running back DeWayne McBride, who the Vikings took in the seventh round of April’s Draft. Here’s what Trapasso has to say about McBride’s chances of contributing early:

I’m way too enamored with McBride. I have to keep reminding myself he was a seventh-round pick. But if there’s one position on the field that can reasonably make an impact being that late of a pick, it’s running back, and McBride has the goods. I’m telling you. That missed-tackle rate doesn’t happen by accident. And there’s a (good?) chance Dalvin Cook isn’t on the roster at the start of the season, right? That would leave only Alexander Mattison — and 2022 late-rounder Ty Chandler — ahead of McBride on the depth chart. McBride will contribute and could sneak into a vital role in Minnesota in Year 1. He’s bouncy, with plus vision, and experience in a zone-blocking scheme.

Trapasso cites McBride’s missed tackle rate, which was 36.1% during his three seasons at Alabama-Birmingham. He definitely has the ability to make guys miss, which is going to be something the Vikings will be able to use should Cook no longer be on the roster.

McBride was second in all of college football in rushing last season with 1,713 yards. The only player that finished ahead of him was Brad Roberts from the Air Force Academy. What’s a little bit crazy is that McBride had 112 fewer carries than Roberts did, as McBride averaged 7.4 yards/carry compared to just 5.0 for Roberts. That’s a pretty impressive level of production, regardless of what conference you were playing your college ball in.

Do you think that Chris Trapasso is on to something with his declaration that DeWayne McBride could be an early contributor to the Vikings’ offense?