In an effort to bolster their depth at running back, the Vikings agreed to a deal with free agent running back Lex Hilliard on Sunday.

Hilliard, a sixth-round draft pick by the Dolphins in 2008, was due to be a restricted free agent last week. But Miami declined to place a tender on him, allowing him to hit the open market. The Vikings swooped in Sunday to sign Hilliard. The 5-foot-11-inch, 240-pound pack carried the ball 16 times for Miami last season netting 41 yards with a 1-yard scoring run in a Week 4 loss to the Chargers.

During his college career at Montana, Hilliard rushed for 4,016 yards and 50 touchdowns while playing in the Football Championship Subdivision. A Sports Illustrated scouting analysis on Hilliard before the '08 draft read as follows:

Hilliard is a nice-sized ball-carrier who competes hard and does the little things well. Strong at the point, he lacks the speed and creativity to be a feature runner, yet he offers possibilities as a short-yardage specialist and could develop into a lead blocker.


Hilliard spent the 2008 season on the Dolphins' practice squad and in the subsequent three seasons was used sparingly as a ball carrier, employed more often in a fullback's role.


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