Minnesota is up at No. 51 with their only pick of Day 2 in our NFC North mock draft. They select Will Shipley, a gifted running back out of Clemson. They addressed their quarterback vacancy in the Round 1, and now they add a Dalvin Cook replacement, keeping the Vikings’ offense flying high.
Shipley is an intuitive player who has a knack for cutting through the tackles with agility. Additionally, he's a dynamic receiving threat and an accomplished blocker. His pass-catching skills are noteworthy, as he has natural hands and can turn upfield quickly in the screen game. He may not have elite burst, but his quick feet and straight-line speed provide him with the potential to generate big plays. He's also improving his patience as a runner, as he can follow pulling guards and make sound decisions when cutting.
Vikings Draft A Dalvin Cook Replacement To Pair With Kirk Cousins’ Successor
His agility, balance, and body control allow him to squeeze out yards when the situation looks dire. Shipley is exceptionally proficient working in the open field, where his vision and explosion stand out. His lateral movement enables him to separate from defenders, and his acceleration surprises the opposition. The Tiger star can line up from various spots as a receiver and make catches away from his body, picking up yards after the reception. As a blocker, he is tenacious and knows how to exploit leverage.
In 2023, Shipley has played nine games so far and has 515 rushing yards with a 4.6 yards per carry average; add in his 20 catches for 120 yards with his five total touchdowns, and he is a poor man's Christian McCaffrey. Kirk Cousins could work with that in his offense, and so can Michael Penix Jr.