Unlike the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and plenty of other teams, the Minnesota Vikings have zero interest in a committee approach to their backfield.
The presence of Adrian Peterson makes that a moot point, but the All-Pro went out of his way to compliment rookie running back Jerick McKinnon, calling his new understudy out of Georgia Southern the team's most notable player during offseason workouts.
"He's pretty impressive and there's not too many guys who impress me like that, especially rookies coming in," Peterson said of the third-round pick, per The Star Tribune. "He's been able to do some real good things in the offense, picking it up well and just his running style."
McKinnon is a gym rat who benches twice his weight and led all backs at the combine with 32 reps on the press. The 5-foot-9, 209-pounder will be "asked to do a little of everything" on offense, per the newspaper, while challenging Matt Asiata for backfield snaps.
Despite just 10 receptions in college, beat writers also noted that McKinnon was a "natural" catching the ball in spring practices. After the rookie played quarterback, running back and kick returner in college, the Vikings plan to creatively dip him into their Norv Turner-led offense.
We don't expect any backup runner to make much of a dent in Minnesota, but there's hope: Toby Gerhart just turned his understudy role into a lucrative three-year deal with the Jaguars.