Vikings commentator thinks Kene Nwangwu could beat out Alexander Mattison

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The position battle for backup duties behind star running back Dalvin Cook might not be as lopsided as some might think for the Minnesota Vikings.

Team commentator Paul Allen admitted to being intrigued with some of the things he’s seen during the spring practices from second-year running back/return specialist Kene Nwangwu. The lightning quick speed and smooth change of direction made him an immediate hit as a kick returner.

But given the arrival of a completely new coaching staff, spearheaded by head coach Kevin O’Connell, he’s now a threat to potentially overtake Alexander Mattison on the depth chart as the No. 2 option at running back.

“Mattison would be prohibitively favored, but everything is new,” Allen said, when speaking with team reporter Tatum Everett. “So Alex doesn’t roll in and go like, ‘Oh I know that play. I know that. I know that. I love that.’ It’s all new and Kene’s fast. …If Kene can catch passes, then he can usurp Alexander.”

The Vikings are in a position where they should be looking at the talent behind Mattison considering the veteran backup will be playing in the final year of his contract.

Along with Nwangwu, the team also selected the versatile tailback out of the University of North Carolina, Ty Chandler, in the fifth-round of the 2022 NFL draft.

So there’s enough young talent there to assume that the team won’t go above and beyond to lock up Mattison in 2023, especially with a strong likelihood of him receiving a pay raise elsewhere. Even as a rookie, Nwangwu established himself as a home run threat with the ball in his hands by taking two returns to the house in 2021.

For a head coach that thrives on mismatches, there aren’t many players better at delivering than the 24-year-old speed demon. An iota of breathing room and it’s off to the races for Nwangwu—with the ball, the game and perhaps even Mattison’s job.

List

Vikings free agents that still remain unsigned