Jerick McKinnon NFL Stats
Loading Jerick McKinnon Stats...
Loading Jerick McKinnon Red Zone Stats...
Jerick McKinnon NFL Game Log
Loading Jerick McKinnon Game Log...
(Compared to other RBs)
San Francisco 49ers Team Injury Report
McKinnon saw a career-high 202 touches last season thanks to Adrian Peterson's inability to stay on the field, but he wasn't able to do much with the added workload as his YPC plummeted in a larger role. The Vikings' issues on the offensive line certainly played a role in that performance, as the converted college option quarterback is still relatively inexperienced as a runner, and his struggles finding and exploiting holes were exacerbated by a line that couldn't create them consistently. McKinnon's speed and elusiveness still flashed on occasion, mainly as a receiving option, but the Vikings made it clear that they don't view him as a long-term answer when they signed Latavius Murray and then drafted Dalvin Cook in the second round. Now buried on the depth chart, McKinnon may struggle to find snaps in 2017.
Even on a team with Adrian Peterson, you wonder why McKinnon doesn't get additional reps. He averaged over six yards per touch last year and secured 72 percent of his targets, looking notably improved from his rookie year. Ball security has never been an issue here, as McKinnon doesn't have a fumble as a pro. Peterson has been remarkably durable for most of his career — running style be damned— so McKinnon might be limited to lottery-ticket and stash-and-hope status for 2016. But he has the look of someone who could be an instant fantasy difference-maker if he were forced to start at any point this year.
A third-round draft pick last year after a jaw-dropping Combine performance, McKinnon was expected to serve as little more than Adrian Peterson's rookie understudy. He suddenly found himself in the spotlight, though, when Peterson was suspended and Matt Asiata proved to be little more than a short-yardage specialist. Somewhat undersized at 5-9, 208, McKinnon was an option quarterback most of his college career at Georgia Southern, and he still needs polish as an running back. He can flash outstanding speed and elusiveness in space, along with the burst to explode into the hole, but he lacks the vision to consistently find those holes and has trouble at times turning his gym strength into running power and broken tackles. He improved in those areas as the year progressed before a Week 12 back injury ended his season. With Peterson back this season, McKinnon will return to a depth role, but more time spent learning at the feet of one of the greatest backs in NFL history can only help his development.
McKinnon's impressive measurables at the NFL Combine – including 32 bench-press reps, which led all running backs, and a 4.37 40 time – boosted his draft stock enough to entice the Vikings into utilizing a third-round pick to secure his services. After running for 2,867 yards and 32 touchdowns while splitting time between quarterback and running back (but mostly running back) his last two years at Georgia Southern, he should have a chance to beat out the singularly unexciting Matt Asiata for the right to back up Adrian Peterson. At 5-9, 208, McKinnon will likely have to bulk up some before he can handle every-down NFL duties and is very raw as a receiver, but he's a tremendous athlete who can make things happen with the ball in his hands.