Irv Smith Jr. – TE (Alabama)
A.J. Brown – WR (Mississippi)
Nothing against tight end Irv Smith Jr. as he’s been pretty solid for the Vikings this season and he has flashed what his potential can be. This season, Smith racked up 36 receptions for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He has been just an arm tackle away from busting off some big gains and he is a guy who is likely primed to make a huge jump in year two.
The reason for the change in pick here is solely based on the need of the position. Minnesota was much better off at tight end this season than they were at wide receiver. Kyle Rudolph was on a midseason tear and even Tyler Conklin was used more in the passing game this year than most expected.
The Vikings’ wide receivers were bitten by the injury bug this season and it resulted in the team getting so desperate they signed Laquon Treadwell and Josh Doctson. If Minnesota would’ve drafted A.J. Brown instead of Smith, they could’ve saved some money.
Brown has been on a roll during the last month and a half for the Tennessee Titans. He’s formed a strong rapport with Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill that has really boosted his production.
This year, Brown finished with 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns. That is production the Vikings could’ve used when Adam Thielen was out for an extended amount of time this season with his hamstring injury.