Vikings young tight ends getting noticed

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As the Vikings try to figure out what the future will hold for veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, the performance of the team’s young tight ends will become a major factor in the final analysis.

So far, the team’s young tight ends are looking good.

Via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, rookie second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr. “lined up all over the field” in Wednesday’s OTA session, at one point beating cornerback Trae Waynes down the sideline.

The team’s 2018 fifth-round draft pick also looked good.

“I thought Tyler Conklin looked really impressive, just routes on air in the red zone,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said, via Goessling. “Our defense did a really good job today of covering routes in the red zone, so it didn’t really give us an opportunity for them to shine.”

Smith brings an interesting (and for Vikings fans depressing) family connection to Minnesota. As recently explained by Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Smith’s uncle (Ed Smith) played for the 1998 Falcons, which beat the 16-1 Vikings in the NFC Championship. Irv Smith’s father was in the stands for the game.

The next time Irv Smith Sr. takes in a game in Minnesota, he’ll presumably be rooting for the home team.

23 responses to “Vikings young tight ends getting noticed

  1. I still hope Rudolph stays. If Irv Smith is as talented as we’re led to believe, we’ll have a very dangerous offense with the fabled 2-TE sets we’ve been hearing so much about. Can’t wait!

  2. I’m sure the young guys are looking just fine. I kind of thought the Packers might have taken Smith and I’d have been good with that. But… the cynic in me can’t help but look just a little bit sideways at a local “beat writer” talking up youngsters at a position when the team is in negotiations with the veteran at that position.

  3. Sans offensive line, the best roster in the NFL by far. Let’s hope the oline additions allows the roster to play to it’s potential. SKOL

  4. “Smith terrorized the SEC”

    ============

    Sorry to burst your little purple bubble.

    Jace Sternberger had better numbers in the SEC last season than Smith did.

  5. Irv Smith didn’t really terrorize the SEC- He had one game with over 100 yards against a 2-win Arkansas team. But he’s a good TE, and he was expected by most to go in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft.

    The last 4 games of the year- The “Iron Bowl” against Auburn, the SEC Championship against Georgia, and the playoff and championship games against Oklahoma and Clemson, he collectively had 12 catches for 124 yards and 0 TD’s.

  6. What NFL WR hasn’t beat Waynes down the sidelines?

    Via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, rookie second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr. “lined up all over the field” in Wednesday’s OTA session, at one point beating cornerback Trae Waynes down the sideline.

  7. I’m sure they do like the way the young guys have looked so far, but they’re not dumb enough to think that Tyler Conklin can replace Kyle Rudolph this year. They will sign Rudolph to an extension before mandatory minicamp.

  8. Geez, as noted in the article, they’re getting noticed cause Morgan is out with an injury and Rudolph wasn’t at practice due to an NFL Man of the Year event — there wasn’t anyone else to play. There have been some interesting articles written on Smith — his straight line speed is very good, but testing showed his flexibility, quickness and catching skills were not all that great. I’m not sure he will be the next big thing, but instead his upside may be an above average NFL TE — that should be enough.

  9. I’m surprised the Vikings didn’t use their first four or five picks on offensive linemen. If they want to fix something, fix it. Don’t just spit on it and say “shiny!”

    Then again, they’ve proven time and time again that they don’t know offensive line talent at all.

    It’s cool that their 2nd string TE isn’t terrible in non-padded practices, though. I mean…wow. That’s saying something!

  10. Conklin and Smith are unproven. Morgan is a stud. Rudolph is a stud. Let the young guys learn this year. let them take over next year when rudolph is gone.

  11. freefromwhatyouare says:
    May 31, 2019 at 11:55 am
    “Smith terrorized the SEC”

    ============

    Sorry to burst your little purple bubble.

    Jace Sternberger had better numbers in the SEC last season than Smith did.
    ———
    1. maybe he did if you just look at rec. which is not all that TEs do
    2. all that matters are their contributions from here on out. touting college rec. is like grading a draft the next day.

  12. Trae Waynes graded out better than Rhodes last year hands down. Most of the time you seeing him beaten deep he is upposed to have safety help over the top and takes a chance on a interception. He is an above average cornerback with a below average reputation. A holdover from earlier in his career. But more to the point of the article the line about the defense covering them in the red zone so they didn’t have a chance to shine seems telling to me. If they were really good wouldn’t they shine when it is most difficult? I think this is training camp type “ happy speak”.

  13. Let me understand this, Irv Smith shines for one play in OTA’s and the Viking fans are ready to nominate him for Canton?

    Sounds about right.

  14. Purple is for Pansies says:
    June 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    My question is:

    Can they play QB? They don’t have one on the roster than can beat winning teams

    @@@@@@@@@@@

    Free?

  15. flviking says:
    June 1, 2019 at 9:18 pm
    Purple is for Pansies says:
    June 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    My question is:

    Can they play QB? They don’t have one on the roster than can beat winning teams

    @@@@@@@@@@@

    Free?
    –”-
    Nope, waffle

  16. Purple is for Pansies says:
    June 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    My question is:
    Can they play QB? They don’t have one on the roster than can beat winning teams
    ——–
    I’d worry about your own team. An aging brittle guy coming off a 6 win season and a backup who has literally never won an NFL game despite being a starter for a year.

  17. Morgan could be the odd TE out. How can the Vikings afford to keep a TE really blocks only?

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