The Minnesota Vikings lost Toby Gerhart to the Jaguars, but they still carry three quality running backs on their roster, including former MVP Adrian Peterson.
Although the NFL is widely known as a quarterback league, the Minnesota Vikings are one of the few teams with an offense led by their running back.
Adrian Peterson is widely known as the best running back in the NFL, and he still had a fantastic season despite the inevitable regression from his MVP stats in 2012.
Peterson still ran for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games, but his receiving skills are limited. However, new offensive coordinator Norv Turner has big plans for Peterson to become more involved in the passing game.
Behind Peterson, there will be a new No. 2 since Toby Gerhart left for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata will compete for carries.
Asiata can contribute on special teams, and he gained starting experience while Peterson sat out for two games with a sprained foot. The third-stringer rushed for three touchdowns in his first start with 51 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he rushed for another 115 yards in a Week 17 win against the Detroit Lions.
McKinnon had an incredible junior season at Georgia Southern that included 1,817 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in 14 games. The third-round pick followed that up with another 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games.
Jerome Felton will stick around as the Vikings’ starting fullback, and he will continue to be a valuable blocking back for Peterson and the other running backs.
The Vikings are expected to keep three running backs plus Felton on the roster, but there will be competition between Asiata and McKinnon for the No. 2 job. While Asiata has more experience, McKinnon offers much higher upside.