Minnesota Vikings: Grades and analysis for the 2019 NFL Draft

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /

Round 2 – Pick 50 overall

Irv Smith Jr., tight end – Alabama

The rumor mill surrounding the tight end position was swirling like crazy before the 2019 NFL Draft and fans were seemingly sold on the idea that if top prospect T.J. Hockenson fell to the Minnesota Vikings that the team would definitely take him.

However, Hockenson went to the division rival Detroit Lions…but the Vikings were just fine. Throughout the process, there was always interest in Irv Smith Jr. and the team didn’t hide that interest by taking him in the second round.

Smith is a bit of a shorter tight end at 6’2, but he does play bigger than that. Watching tape of him will show a highly-athletic player known for creating yards after the catch who is also a capable blocker.

The only real negative to this pick is that the team already has talent at the tight end position for the 2019 season. Kyle Rudolph is a Pro Bowl player but is in the final year of his contract with a sizable cap hit. Stud blocker David Morgan is also in the last year of his deal and will likely be paid well elsewhere next year. Those factors make Smith a smart pick for the team in the long term and the fact they didn’t go to a position of greater need is a smart move.

Grade: A-