March 3, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Carolina’s Tar Hales is running behind Tie Chandler. Compulsory Credit: Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports.
Every year there is an interesting fight in the training camp of the Vikings. Some players try to claim a starting job, others try to make a 53-man list. In 2022, head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Quesi Adofo-Mensah will have to make tough decisions with multiple position fights.
There will be a fight between the running backs. Dalvin Cook obviously gets a roster spot. Since joining the league in 2017, Cook has built the third-fastest yardage in the NFL, behind only Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott. His 86.1 racing yards per game puts him eighth in NFL history, even more than players like Adrian Peterson and Ladinian Tomlinson.
The Vikings’ offense gradually becomes more exciting, and at one point Dalvin Cook will slow down, as the running back makes their second contract. However, Cook will still be a fixture in Kevin O’Connell’s offense in the near future.
Another running back spot is Ken Enwangwei. The Vikings’ electrical return specialist is essential and will not be included in a fight during training camp. The new offensive coaching staff will need to determine if the speed of Nwangwu and his generation can be used for crime. In Iowa State, he recorded more than five yards per carry. It is doubtful that he will ever turn into a true workhorse, but the electric special team can be a dangerous weapon in some plays. He should be seen coming back in the third run on the depth chart.
Alexander Mattison vs. Tie Chandler
Top half back on the Dalvin Cook roster, and Ken Nawangu RB3. Fighting between fourth-year player Alexander Mattison and Rookie Tie Chandler for the final running back spot.
Mattison is an interesting personality. Since Rick Spielman was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, he has been the primary backup for backfield star Dalvin Cook. Vikings fans have claimed he could start for more than one team. However, he struggled occasionally, especially in 2021.
The former Boise State standout finished the season brutally with 3.7 yards per carry. Carrying 134 and just 491 yards is not a good running state line in the NFL. Some fights could be attributed to the offensive line, as even Dalvin Cook did not have his best season. But the improved figures paint a different picture. Next-generation statistics show he recorded -59 yards from expected, resulting in an average of -0.44 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook recorded an expected 0.34 yards per carry over. Mattison’s PFF grade 61.0 puts him 54th out of 62 eligible half-backs.
His advantage over his challenger is experience. In three NFL seasons, Mattison has bowled 330 times. During his college career in Boyce State, he had 582 carries and in his last two seasons he was a true workhorse. However, despite having more experience, Mattison is about five weeks younger than Chandler.
When asked to fill in for the injured Dalvin Cook, Mattison did something impressive. He started six careers and recorded at least 100 yards in two of them. In those six games, he made a total of 477 rushing yards, 216 receiving yards and a total of five touchdowns. Carrie was just 4.1 per yard, a pedestrian number.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has run out of nine other rookies in his first draft class. Chandler played his first four seasons at Tennessee College, where he never made more than 655 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a single season. He moved to play for the North Carolina Ter Hills, where he recorded 1308 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns.
The draft pick makes sense, although it did create some confusion at first. Mattison is in the final year of his rookie contract. Other than that, he didn’t play at a very high level. Chandler is a backup running back spot and a legacy plan for an instant competition for Mattison in one person.
His 4.38 40-yard dash is much faster than Mattison’s 4.67. Chandler threatens home runs whenever he touches the ball. Another difference is vision. Mattison struggled to find holes occasionally in the past, when it was one of Chandler’s greatest strengths. In the modern NFL, pass-catching is an important skill to run back. Chandler is a skilled pass catcher, and most people have seen some impressive possession in his highlight tapes.
FBs are also Arabic
The Vikings 53-man roster can carry four running backs in a season. However, fullback CJ Hamm has to be part of the thought process. In recent years he has been an integral part of crime. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. However, Ham can return in an emergency run and he is a great special team player. He will probably be on the roster, which makes it hard to believe that four extra running backs are also part of it. So, Chandler and Mattison will fight for the Vikings final place in the running back room, and it will be fun to watch during training camp and in precision games.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who has a myth of numbers and statistics. Despite Christian Ponder being a quarterback at the time, he chose the Vikings as his favorite team. He has a walking football encyclopedia and his favorite music genre of classic rock. Arguing about the Vikings on Twitter is one of his favorite things. If you like Vikings, follow him on Twitter: িকJanicEcard