The Starke, Florida native turned heads in college with his physical running style. Now, DeWayne McBride will get his chance to take that style to the professional ranks.
The Minnesota Vikings selected McBride with the 222nd overall pick in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft. McBride became the 15th selection in UAB program history and ensured the Blazers were represented at the draft for the third straight season.
As a junior in 2022, McBride finished the regular season as the nation’s leading rusher 1,713 yards. McBride also led the nation in rushing yards per game with 155.7 and yards per carry with 7.35. The Vanguard High School product finished second in the nation in rushing touchdowns with and rushed for over 100 yards in ten of 11 games in 2022. The UAB standout only participated in 11 games last year, yet posted a trio of 200-yard rushing performances — without ever handling 30 carries in a single game.
With McBride manning the ship, UAB finished as a top 10 rushing offense in 2022 with the second-highest average in the country. In the year prior, he attained 183 yards in the Independence Bowl, assisting the Blazers in a landmark upset over BYU — UAB’s first ranked win in program history.
McBride left UAB with a litany of accolades. He was named the 2022 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year and landed on the All-C-USA team twice — Second Team in 2021 and First Team in 2022. He was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, which recognizes the best running back in college football.
The star running back measured in at 5’10” and 209 pounds, and his size is very pronounced in his bruising running style. Despite receiving an invite, McBride did not undergo testing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis due to a hamstring issue. The same injury held him out of UAB’s Pro Day on March 22, but he performed 20 reps of 225 pounds on bench press in front of representatives of all 32 NFL teams.
ESPN gave a 34.5% projection that McBride will be a backup at the professional ranks. At his new home in Minnesota, he will compete in a running back room which could witness a potential shakeup this offseason. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has been the subject of numerous trade rumors as his future with the franchise is undefined at the moment. Alexander Mattison, who has been one of the league’s sharpest No. 2 running backs, and Kene Nwangwu are the current placeholders of the second and third spots behind Cook on the depth chart.