Immediately after the Vikings drafted tight end Irv Smith in the second round of this year’s draft, the main topic of conversation was about whether the team would part ways with veteran Kyle Rudolph.
That conversation went on for a while, but Rudolph wound up signing a contract extension to remain with the team for years to come. That means talk of Smith replacing Rudolph was replaced by talk about how the two players can complement each other in the Minnesota offense.
Assistant head coach Gary Kubiak offered a suggestion on that front during a Thursday press conference. Kubiak was asked about how much the team is missing blocking specialist David Morgan while Morgan is on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury.
“I think Irv has surprised us. We saw a smaller, athletic player but he’s really on the line of scrimmage surprised some people,” Kubiak said.
The more things Smith can do on the field, the better for the Vikings’ ability to avoid a predictable offensive approach over the 2019 season and the better for the rookie’s chances of making a sizable impact right off the bat.