In a somewhat unexpected, but not unwelcome move, the Vikings went skill position again in round three, selecting Boise State running back Alexander Mattison. The Vikings held the 81st pick, but traded back multiple times, acquiring multiple day three picks and eventually settling into the 102nd pick, the last of the third round.
Mattison was not often connected to the Vikings prior to draft day. But his downhill running was undeniable at Boise State, as he amassed 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons. With his short, powerful frame and aggressive running style, chances are the Vikings will look to use him in a role similar to the one Latavius Murray held the last couple of years. That is, as a straight line, short yardage runner.
What could separate Mattison from other short yardage backs, however, is his pass catching. He showed good hands out of the backfield as the Broncos’ offensive focal point and had over 50 catches combined his junior and senior year to show for it.
Mattison’s top speed will likely limit his NFL future. But he is explosive and aggressive as a runner, and could help out the Vikings’ running back rotation right away.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.