Jerick McKinnon – Time To Step Up

Jerick McKinnon – Time To Step Up

Austin Erwin is one of our newest members to the Vikings Barroom. Crack open one of your favorite beverages and read what he’s got to say. 

The news has circulated around plenty enough. It’s all over ESPN, social media, barber shops. Everywhere. Yes, Adrian Peterson is out for what could be until December. Maybe even longer. But, unlike past years where that news would have been, to Vikings fans, the equivalent of no Christmas, we should still expect this Minnesota team to give us plenty to be merry about.

Minnesota has been through it once already. Losing game-changing quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater for the season dealt a huge blow. Despite the losses of Bridgewater and Peterson, Minnesota’s drive for a championship is not derailed. Not at all.

In one game, Sam Bradford has proven he looks good in purple. Now, we need to see if Jerick Mckinnon looks good as a starter.

McKinnon can play, Vikings’ fans know that. Outside of Minnesota, he’s not a well-known commodity. But, he’s about to be. In my estimation, McKinnon will prove he’s a dynamic and versatile running back.

While the all-important offensive line has not got off to a good start, that doesn’t mean they won’t improve. Offensive lines take time to jell. Hopefully, this slightly revamped line won’t take too long.

Helping the running attack is the Vikings depth at the running back position. Matt Asiata is a great short yardage battering ram. He is the perfect compliment to McKinnon, who is now the main focus of the offensive backfield.

Over his career, McKinnon has averaged almost five yards per carry.

[graphiq id=”6dt07uFtDAF” title=”Jerick McKinnon Career Rushing Stats” width=”800″ height=”329″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

What allows him to be so efficient? Well, a lot of things. Running the ball, McKinnon is quick through the hole and surprisingly tough to bring down because of his low center of gravity. He is much more of a big play threat than what he’s given credit for. As he finds open space, McKinnon can be very explosive. He makes opponents miss with ease and can perform quick cuts like his teammate, Stefon Diggs. In 2015, improved his elusive rating and breakaway percentage, per Pro Football Focus. He turned 3-of-52 carries into gains of 15-plus yards.

In the passing attack, the defense has to account for McKinnon as well. He is an excellent check down option out of the backfield for Sam Bradford with good hands. But what separates him from others is what he can do after the catch. Juking, dipping, diving; call it whatever you’d like. McKinnon has the capability to break tackles and explode up field for big gains.

[graphiq id=”cUEUOV9VXtb” title=”Jerick McKinnon Career Receiving Stats” width=”800″ height=”348″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

If the Vikings use McKinnon correctly, they could actually see their offense improve without Peterson. Listen to Vikings Barroom Executive Editor BJ Reidell talk about how the offense can thrive without Peterson in a recent Barroom Blitz audio cast. His commentary begins at the two minute mark.

Barroom Blitz – Week 2 NFCN Game Reviews

With more opportunity, the better McKinnon is. Offensive coordinator, Norv Turner must find ways to put the ball in his hands. McKinnon’s diverse skill set allows him to compliment other playmakers such as Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph.

McKinnon has few limitations and his ceiling can be much higher than many expect. His speed and quickness will surprise many this year. He should rack up quite the set of numbers. For all you fantasy owners out there: keep an eye on 21. For all you Vikings fans, don’t despair over the loss of Peterson, instead sit back and enjoy the emergency of Jerick McKinnon as your starter.

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