Could a Minnesota Gophers Star Soon Join the Minnesota Vikings?

Minnesota Gophers Star
Sep 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) celebrates after the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have been hard at work evaluating numerous 2023 NFL Draft prospects over the past few weeks and months. In that process, they’ve inevitably spotted favorites that will rise up their draft board, but could one of the most recent reported visits with a Minnesota Gophers star lead to that prospect staying the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the early portion of his NFL career?

This is in reference, of course, to Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim, who reportedly will visit the Vikings in the coming days before the 2023 NFL Draft takes place.

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (RB12) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ibrahim has been a dominant runner in the Big Ten ever since he got to Minnesota. He’s rushed for over 4500 yards over his five seasons with the Gophers despite missing almost all of the 2021 season due to injury.

The biggest question mark surrounding Ibrahim was whether he’d be able to bounce back to his old self from his torn Achilles. He did that and more this season, recording a grand total of 320 carries, 1665 rushing yards, and 20 TDs. His rushing yards and rushing TDs total led the Big Ten this season while his 320 carries ranked second behind only Chase Brown out of Illiniois.

Dec 29, 2022; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs with the ball against Syracuse Orange linebacker Kadin Bailey (46) and defensive back Justin Barron (23) during the second quarter of the 2022 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ibrahim is much more of your prototypical back power running back than some of the others on the higher end of this class like a Jahmyr Gibbs or a Tyjae Spears. He has a sturdy frame and the ability to bounce off tacklers to create yards after contact. The biggest knock on him throughout his career has been his lack of presence as a receiver, and this ultimately will cause him to fall down draft boards along with some concerns about his durability after so many collegiate carries. Take a look at what’s Lance Zierlein had to say of Ibrahim:

“Hard-hat running back who operated with toughness, vision and a feel for cut timing in the Minnesota inside/outside zone attack. Ibrahim’s decisiveness stands out, but he’s missing an elevated burst to clear second-level tacklers without taking bumps and bruises. He’s not going to run away from NFL defenders, so creativity will be important to keep runs alive. His injury history, paired with his combative running style, could be a concern for some teams, but his no-nonsense running approach and innate feel for the end zone will be easy for coaches to love.”

Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig (19) stops Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) during the third quarter of their game Saturday, November 26, 2022 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Minnesota beat Wisconsin 23-16. Uwgrid26 27

The Vikings brought back Alexander Mattison in free agency, but the status of Dalvin Cook’s future in Minnesota remains uncertain. Of course, the Vikings also have Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu on the roster, but it truly is up in the air as to how much either of them can contribute to an NFL offense.

Because of that, the Vikings could turn to one of their later picks in this year’s draft to select another young running back. Ibrahim is an intriguing option due to his production at the University of Minnesota as well as his proven ability to bounce back from an injury that is usually very debilitating in football.

The 2023 NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday, April 27th. Currently, the Vikings hold the 23rd, 87th, 119th, 158th, and 211th picks in this year’s draft.

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.