Vikings take RB Jerick McKinnon with the No. 96 pick
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings may have their backup for Adrian Peterson.
The Vikings took running back Jerick McKinnon with the No. 96 overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.
McKinnon ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, had a 40.5-inch vertical leap and put up 32 reps on the 225lb bench. He was originally recruited as a cornerback and ended up playing special teams and switched to quarterback in 2010. McKinnon played in GSU's triple-option offense through his junior season before seeing the bulk of his action at running back last year.
"I think I could come contribute to the team at running back, return man or on special teams," McKinnon said.
Though 12 defensive backs have been taken through the first three rounds, the Vikings have stuck to the mold of picking the best player available, while meeting needs. Since Toby Gerhart left in free agency this offseason, the Vikings need competition for the No. 2 role behind Peterson.
But there's more pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball, where Minnesota could use another defensive tackle and a defensive back.
Spielman noted the versatility of McKinnon, specifically a spring workout.
"They work him out as a running back, a punt returner and as a defensive corner," Spielman said. "Just from an athletic standpoint, he's too good of an athlete to pass up, too explosive of a player."
"I'd say the NFL teams got their money's worth [watching his practice]."
The Vikings' next pick is in the fifth round on Saturday. Minnesota traded their second- and fourth-round picks to Seattle in exchange for their 32nd pick in the first round. Minnesota has the 145th and 148th picks in the fifth round, the former coming from the Cleveland Browns in a first-round swap on Thursday.
Minnesota selected defensive end Scott Crichton with the 72nd pick on Friday.