The Minnesota Vikings have the best running back in the NFL. But, he is aging so it might be smart for the team to start looking into getting a replacement. Cover32.com today looks at the top 10 running backs in the upcoming draft. Could the Vikings find Adrian Peterson’s heir apparent? Not in the first round unless they make a trade, but even then it will likely be a bit of a stretch to take any of these guys in the first round.
10. Lache Seastrunk (Baylor)
“He may be a little short (5-foot-9), but he’s compact (210 pounds), which allows Seastrunk to thrive. A combination of great balance and a quick burst makes him a dangerous runner, as evidenced by the 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns he posted last season at Baylor despite missing nearly three full games due to injury. The only drawback, other than his height, is Seastrunk’s tendency to dance; he’s not a hit-the-hole type of back, choosing instead to go East and West in search of a big gain.” (cover32.com)
Seastrunk could be an interesting pick if the Vikings decide to go with him, but his weaknesses catching the pass and pass protecting could scare the Vikings away. With Adrian Peterson as the starter the Vikings will be looking for a change of pace back and some one that is good in pass protection. Toby Gerhart is a free agent, but with Matt Asiata emerging, the Vikings might look away from a player that struggles in pass protection.
9. Bishop Sankey (Washington)
“If a team is looking for a durable workhorse, Sankey could be the answer. As a junior, he broke Corey Dillon’s single-season rushing record with 1,870 yards, while also crossing the goal line 20 times in 13 games. That’s a guy who isn’t afraid to carry the football, something the Huskies asked him to do a lot. He’s also a hard worker and a leader, something his teammates recognized by electing him a captain during his junior campaign.” (cover32.com)
If the Vikings are looking to let Toby Gerhart go and get an heir apparent this could be a very good direction for them to go. Sankey will not go in the first round, but the Vikings could see him available to them in the second of third. Sankey’s work load at Washington impressed me enough to think that a year or two behind Adrian Peterson could be a great thing for this young running back.
8. Devonta Freeman (Florida State)
“Freeman didn’t see a lot of carries during his college career, which may be both a blessing and a curse. The 5-foot-9, 203-pound running back eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau in 2013 for the national champion Seminoles, but he was far from a featured back. In fact, he’s only carried the ball more than 15 times on eight occasions during his career. Thus, it’s unknown if he can handle that kind of workload. Then again, he also has plenty of tread left on the tires.” (cover32.com)
Freeman will need to impress in his workouts for teams because his lack of carries will hurt him. The Vikings have a couple guys, if they resign Gerhary, already that can rush about 15 times a game. Norv Turner has worked with some top running backs in his career, and will be looking for a workhorse back up that can learn under AP. Freeman does not have the look or size to be a good choice for the Vikings.