Catching up after a fun evening at Legends GC in Prior Lake…
After addressing offensive line with their round one selection, the Minnesota Vikings on Friday landed their tight end of the future in the 2019 NFL Draft. Former University of Alabama tight end Irv Smith, Jr. was selected by Minnesota with the 50th overall pick (#18) in the second round.
Smith (6-2, 242) caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns last seasons. His seven touchdowns broke the Alabama single-season team record for a tight end.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 27, 2019
Here’s the overview on Smith from his NFL.com draft profile:
Smith is still green in terms of overall experience, which shows up in run-blocking and route-running, but he has plenty of talent and is likely to get much better in both areas. He has combination tight end talent but really flashes as a move blocker at fullback or wingback spots. His buildup speed sets him apart as a big, field-stretching option and once he gets rolling after the catch. O.J. Howard was bigger, and a better athlete, but like Howard, Smith offers Pro Bowl potential as a well-rounded tight end prospect.
• Led the nation in yards per route run (2.56)
• At 20 years old, is one of the youngest players in the draft
• Good value – ranked 37th on the Consensus Board
He's a high upside receiving threat who stretches the seams. Good pick.
— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) April 27, 2019
“[He] can be another mismatch guy for our offense,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. “When you watch the Alabama tape and see how you can utilize his skill set in many different ways to create mismatches… with linebackers or if safeties get on him — that type of tight end we haven’t had here. That’s a big part of Gary Kubiak and Kevin Stefanski’s offense.”
When asked if the selection of Smith changes the status of current starter Kyle Rudolph, Spielman replied “No. Kyle Rudolph is here. Two different styles, what Kyle does and what Irv can do. So, just two totally different types of tight ends.”