VDT: Auburn RB Tank Bigsby Carries Great Potential
The 2023 NFL Draft class is considered one of the deeper classes for running backs in recent memory. By now, you’ve probably heard plenty about Texas RB Bijan Robinson, considered to be the next Saquon Barkley-type of player at the position. However, there are plenty of others that can provide consistent production in NFL backfields.
One such prospect is Auburn RB Tank Bigsby, and he is the focus of today’s edition of Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we have examined a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform.
- Height: 6’0
- Weight: 210
- School: Auburn
- Games Watched: Alabama (2021), Missouri (2022), Ole Miss (2022), Western Kentucky (2022)
- 2020: 138 rushes, 834 yards, 5 TDs; 11 receptions, 84 yards (10 games)
- 2021: 223 rushes, 1099 yards, 10 TDs; 21 receptions, 184 yards (13 games)
- 2022: 179 rushes, 970 yards, 10 TDs; 30 receptions, 180 yards (12 games)
Bigsby has elite burst in the backfield. He’s an explosive athlete that allows him to run powerfully, breaking through arm tackles and fighting for extra yardage. If defenses allow him to bounce outside the tackles, though, that is when he truly shines.
He weaves through defenders with ease, seemingly changing directions effortlessly. When a defense does finally wrap him up, he has a knack for falling forward as well, again picking up extra yardage.
While he can fight through tackles, Bigsby does run into some issues when defenders go low on him. His lower body doesn’t have the same same strength as his upper body. Because of this, he also has a bit of trouble when forced to run between the tackles on a consistent basis.
We also don’t have a big enough of a sample size for him to be considered a receiving back at this point in time. It would have been nice to see him produce a little bit more catching the ball.
- Draft Round: Mid Third-Late Fourth
- Immediate Role: Zone concept RB
- Best-Case Scenario: Tony Pollard
- Vikings Draft Temperature: 55
Overall, Tank Bigsby isn’t going to be a player that immediately jumps into a starting lineup like a Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs. However, he certainly can provide value to an offense, especially one like the Vikings that has so much uncertainty surrounding the running back position. He should be on Minnesota’s radar this April.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.