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 Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings /

Expectations for 2020

Irv Smith Jr. is ready to take over as the team’s starting tight end in his second season. Kyle Rudolph put up almost identical numbers last season with the exception of touchdowns, which is why he should be primarily used as a red-zone threat. He size and sure hands are still valuable for this offense, but he lacks the overall athleticism to play as many snaps as he did in 2019.

As life without Stefon Diggs begins, they should find ways to make up for that production elsewhere. Smith is a big-bodied receiver who can win in a variety of ways over the middle. His youth and ability to create after the catch will be huge for this offense in the absence of Diggs.

Kirk Cousins needs to have a reliable weapon who can move around the offense and matchup with defenses. Smith has potential as a slot receiver and when attacking the seam, and his growth as a blocker in his rookie season should keep him on the field for early downs.

The Vikings are very high on Smith, evident by his spike in production towards the end of his first season. Assuming he continues to develop a well-rounded game, the sky is the limit.

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There is no reason to expect Irv Smith fail to surpass 500 yards and four touchdowns in 2020. The ball will be spread around a bit more by the Minnesota Vikings and he offers a diverse skill set.