Tight end is not a major need for the Minnesota Vikings at 2018 NFL Draft

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Fans on social media and some experts believe the Minnesota Vikings need to get a tight end during the 2018 NFL Draft despite it not being a major need.

Putting together a quality NFL roster when hoping to contend for a championship is a major challenge. The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of great pieces in place heading into the 2018 season but could use a few tweaks and upgrades to help them get over the hump that stopped them last year.

The Vikings already made some big moves by picking up quarterback Kirk Cousins, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and wide receiver Kendall Wright. However, they still have the 2018 NFL Draft to look forward to.

One of the most fun parts of the draft is trying to figure out the team’s biggest needs and match prospects to those positions. Most people will agree that offensive line and nickel cornerback are the team’s two biggest needs but after that it gets interesting.

Many sites like USA Today have improving tight end as the third biggest priority, but that really isn’t necessary. If nothing, Minnesota is in a position where they could look to other needs unless a top prospect falls into their lap.

Kyle Rudolph isn’t going anywhere. He is the Vikings top receiving tight end and continues to make strides in his blocking game. He caught 8 touchdowns in 2017 and played 922 of the team’s offensive snaps.

Next on the depth chart, David Morgan is the team’s blocking specialist. While he mostly takes part in run plays or for blocking downfield, he still played 393 snaps on offense in 2017 as well as 106 on special teams. He is also a reliable target in the passing game, catching 10 of the 12 passes thrown his way last year and scoring a touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

The question mark on the roster is Blake Bell. “The Belldozer” is known for his physical nature and not as much for his pass catching, but ended the season on injured reserve missing game 14 and beyond. Still, he took part in 145 plays on offense and 205 snaps on special teams, finding a real groove on kickoffs and punts.

There is no doubt that getting another dynamic, pass-catching tight end would be exciting for fans and huge for the team’s passing game, but it could take away from players who are key on special teams and instrumental in creating holes in the running game.

Of course, a lot of fans want to see either South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert or Penn State’s Mike Gesicki come to Minnesota. It is still possible that one of these players could land with the Vikings, but it shouldn’t be expected for the position to be a priority. If they are selected, it will be because they are the best available player on the board when the team is on the clock.

Next: Vikings 7-round mock draft, 1.0

Keep in mind that tight end isn’t a need and would be a luxury pick, but that doesn’t mean the Minnesota Vikings wouldn’t upgrade upon a player like Bell if they feel the team can replace his production as well as add a bigger receiving threat. However, fans should expect an offensive lineman, cornerback, or even defensive lineman in the first few rounds.

Also, huge thanks to Pro Football Reference for the snap counts and stats.