Kevin O’Connell Pounds Table for Overlooked Viking

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Kevin O'Connell

If you’re sitting down to crunch your 53-man roster prediction for the 2023 Minnesota Vikings, know that one overlooked playmaker is well on his way to making the team.

That’s Johnny Mundt, a reservist tight end, and any mystery about his roster-bubble status should end immediately.

Kevin O’Connell Pounds Table for Overlooked Viking

Mundt joined the Vikings via free agency in March of 2022 and served as a TE2 and TE3 during his purple maiden voyage. Now, as the Vikings hope to maintain a fancy 13-4 record from last season, Mundt is a near shoo-in to grab the TE3 job behind T.J. Hockenson and newcomer free agent Josh Oliver.

Source? Well, the head coach, Kevin O’Connell.

Table for Overlooked
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O’Connell told reporters last weekend, “I believe Johnny Mundt is the best 3rd TE in the NFL. If there was a category for that, Johnny would certainly get that, in my opinion.”

Mundt joined the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. He remained on the Rams roster for five seasons and partnered with O’Connell in Los Angeles in 2020 and 2021. The pairing even won a Super Bowl together in 2021, prompting O’Connell to accept the ‘big job’ in Minnesota as head coach. About a month later, Mundt followed O’Connell to the Twin Cities.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

“So reliable. So trusted. By not only myself but everybody in that huddle with him. The variety of jobs he can do on all three downs. He doesn’t get enough credit for how well he runs — or blocks for that matter — and the physicality,” O’Connell added about his TE3.

Mundt played in all 17 games last year, tabulating 19 receptions for 140 yards and his first career touchdown. He played 443 offensive snaps, on the field about 38% of the time on offense. The 28-year-old also saw action on 93 special teams plays.

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 3
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell’s comments were also telling about the upcoming roster shave-down on August 29th. Mundt emphatically doesn’t sound like a player who will get cut, so Minnesota’s 2023 TE room could be set. Here’s the current TE lay of the land as of August 15th:

TE1: T.J. Hockenson
TE2: Josh Oliver
TE3: Johnny Mundt
TE4: Nick Muse
TE5: Ben Sims
TE6: Colin Thompson

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Tuesday., July 25th, 2023. The Vikings won the NFC North in Kevin O’Connell’s first year, thanks to a 13-4 record. O’Connell is the league’s second-youngest coach as of 2023.

Minnesota kept three tight ends for the active roster in O’Connell’s first season as skipper, and if that mentality persists, it appears Hockenson, Oliver, and Mundt will hold down the TE fort in 2023, with Muse, Sims, and Thompson perhaps on the outside looking in.

Mundt will turn 29 in November.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by