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Vikings Draft Irv Smith Jr

Minnesota Vikings Draft Irv Smith

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Photo:Kevin Kuo-USA Today Sports
By:Preet Shah

With the 50th pick in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected Irv Smith Jr., a tight end out of the University of Alabama. With this pick, it seemed like the Vikings went with the best player available to them. Irv Smith Jr. is the son of former first-round draft pick Irv Smith Sr. who played tight end for New Orleans, San Francisco, and Cleveland. Irv was considered the best tight end in the after T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant and projected to go in the late first round or the early second round by most draft experts, but the sheer absurdity of the first round and the run on defensive backs to start the second pushed him into the mid second round.

When I asked my friend Savitra Kulkarni, who is a huge crimson tide fan, about Irv he had this to say “He’s your prototypical modern-day tight end, he possesses some blocking skill but that area needs a bit of improvement. However, when he has the ball is when he really shines. With the athleticism and the speed that he has he always is a threat to gain yards after the catch.”

    Irv may be the player to take over as the true third-receiving option to take the pressure off of Diggs and Thielen. This pick may also signal the end of the Kyle Rudolph era in Minnesota as the Vikings currently have just over a million in cap space and need about seven million to sign all of their draft picks to deals. Though cutting Rudolph would be devastating as he is a class act both on and off the field, it would free up about 7 million dollars which would be just over the amount needed to sign the rookie class. Another scenario could have Rudolph restructure his deal to get less money but get it guaranteed.

I like this pick due to both Irv’s athleticism and ability to run after the catch, which Kirk also loves in tight ends, and also the potential for the Vikings to get more cap space quickly. As always leave your comments and opinions below and Skol Vikes.