The Minnesota Vikings drafted former Iowa State Cyclones running back Kene Nwangwu with the No. 119 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He joins a depth chart that includes Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah.
Nwangwu did not see a ton of touches in college with just 143 carries in four seasons at Iowa State playing behind workhorses David Montgomery and Breece Hall. In 2020, Nwangwu carried the ball 61 times for 339 yards for a 5.6 yards per carry average with four touchdowns. He made most of his damage as an elite kick returner.
Fantasy football impact
Nwangwu should find a role for himself during his rookie season. The Vikings could utilize him heavily in the special teams game, and he will likely operate as the team’s No. 3 running back. Nwangwu is probably not worthy of late round consideration in your average fantasy drafts this season, but he would be a high-priority pickup if Cook goes down with an injury.
Nwangwu has all the physical tools to make a difference at the NFL level, but he still has quite a bit to learn at the running back position with so few touches in college. His vision and ability to locate running leans will need to improve and if he is coached well with the Vikings, he could make a real impact in the backfield. Nwangwu’s development is worth monitoring for fantasy owners as well as a late grab in dynasty leagues.