With their second day-three draft selection, the Minnesota Vikings selected Central Michigan tight end Tyler Conklin with the 157th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Conklin caught 34 passes for 504 yards and five touchdowns in 2017. As a junior in 2016, Conklin put up 42 receptions for 560 yards and six touchdowns.
Pro Football Focus ranked Conklin as the sixth-best tight end in the 2018 class based on yards per route run.
The Vikings add Central Michigan TE Tyler Conklin. He ranked sixth among draft-eligible tight ends in yards per route run in 2017 (1.87)
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 28, 2018
New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo comes from an Eagles offense that used tight ends heavily the past couple of seasons. Conklin joins a versatile tight end group of Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan that should allow DeFilippo to get creative once again.
Minnesota was in need as a pass-catching tight end as Rudolph enters the back nine of his playing career. This isn’t to say Morgan isn’t a pass-catching threat, but it has never been his primary role. Conklin provides receiving depth at tight end and another large red zone target for Kirk Cousins.
The 6’3″, 255-pound former NAIA basketball player suffered a foot injury prior to his senior season that some scouts fear has removed some of his athleticism. However, Conklin has received mostly positive remarks on his blocking ability despite his niche as a receiving tight end.