Irv Smith Jr. is primed for a big season with the Vikings in 2020

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings /

Maximizing his usage

The Vikings loved getting the ball to their tight ends underneath as a safety blanket. That said, Smith is easily the most athletic tight end on the roster and he showed flashes as a receiver in the screen game. He had two big screen passes called back last season due to penalty, but his talent was clearly there.

Minnesota also likes to get their tight ends into space by motioning them behind the offensive line. On play-action passes, tight ends were consistently left open as they were hidden behind the big bodies up front. Irv Smith Jr. once again stood out on those designed plays and was able to make things happen in space.

As a receiving tight end, it was easier to line him up outside and motion him around to create advantages. He developed a lot as a blocker and was then able to line up more as an in-line blocker who could chip-and-go off the line.

At such a young age, Irv Smith Jr. still has a lot to learn and room to grow as a complete player. He can become the team’s top tight end in the 2020 season.