The Vikings TE Updates Are Lovely

3 WRs Highlight
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver N'Keal Harry addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during 2023 Training Camp. Harry joined the Vikings in August of 2023 and previously played for the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears. Harry joined the NFL in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

When the Minnesota Vikings traded for tight end T.J. Hockenson, it was in response to the loss of Irv Smith Jr. Needing another weapon for Kirk Cousins, a team that already had Justin Jefferson and a capable Dalvin Cook wanted more. Hockenson will now miss considerable time in 2024, but the updates in his absence have been ideal.

The Vikings TE Updates Are Lovely

Going into the offseason, it remained to be seen how Kevin O’Connell would cover for what is expected to be a lengthy absence by Hockenson. Potentially missing half of the season, there’s no denying that a Vikings offense heavily reliant on the tight end position had to find answers. With only Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt immediately popping up as answers, depth was necessary.

robert tonyan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Robert Tonyan has previously put up strong seasons with the Green Bay Packers, and although he was working with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the time, there was clear talent present. The Vikings scooped him up as a free agent, and while he had a down season with the Chicago Bears, the hope is that his third stop in the NFC North can be his best one.

te updates
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While Mundt is more of a depth tight end, and Oliver is the blocking type, it’s Tonyan who should be projected to haul in the most passes. If he can wrangle the opportunity through mandatory minicamp and training camp, then being trusted as the season gets underway will be easy. According to initial reports, he has looked great on the field and is developing a quick rapport with his new quarterbacks. That is great to hear.

Beyond just Tonyan, the other noteworthy news has been former first-round wide receiver N’Keal Harry converting to the position. Obviously told he wasn’t going to make the squad on the outside, Harry can look to use his athleticism off of the line. He has bulked up to 240 pounds and already displayed ideal blocking characteristics as a wide receiver. Previously seen as an outside threat, there is a real opportunity he could create mismatches coming off the line.

If the Vikings can find a way to extract value from Harry, even if it comes through changing his position, that would be an ideal come-up. Someone like Harry could elevate themselves to the top of the depth chart and hopefully mitigate the loss felt by a lack of Hockenson’s presence. As practices go on, we will hear more about how things look. The preseason will give us something of a glimpse, but the tight end position has to matter when the regular action gets going.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.