Kyle Rudolph is a veteran tight end for the Minnesota Vikings, but under him on the depth chart are several young, talented players needing development.
It seems as though the Minnesota Vikings continue to cycle through young tight ends on their roster. Several notable players have spent time in Minnesota, including Rhett Ellison, MyCole Pruitt, Alan Reisner, and several others, but they fail to stick with the team on a long-term basis.
Minnesota hopes they have found some answers in their two young tight ends, David Morgan and Bucky Hodges. Morgan has one year of professional experience where he caught one pass for 4 yards and Hodges is a rookie this year on whom the Vikings spent a 6th round draft pick.
The two play different roles for the team. While Morgan is seen as more of a blocking specialist with a sneaky catching ability, Hodges made his mark in college by being a huge target for quarterbacks in the passing game.
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Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was recently asked by the Pioneer Press if he had any concern about going into the 2017 with such inexperienced tight ends behind Rudolph, and his response was somewhat generic, but honest.
"“There’s no concern,’’ Shurmur said. “We’re hopeful that the young players will come along, and, depending on what the final roster looks like, we’ll use the players that are available.’’"
At this point, the only real question should be if the Vikings will keep 3 tight ends or 4. That means a spot could be available for Kyle Carter, who has never appeared in a game for Minnesota in his career.
"“We’re all basically the new guys. So we’re just trying to come in and prove that we can help this team.’’"
If there is one thing the Minnesota Vikings learned during the 2016 campaign, it is that they need depth. To have several young and talented tight ends on the roster is great, but they also need time to develop as players. Hopefully, the franchise can be done with the tight end shuffle and keep some of these young players around for the long haul.