5 strongest positions on the Minnesota Vikings 2020 roster

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

Tight End

Minnesota has one of the best and deepest groups of tight ends in the NFL. It is topped by an all-time Vikings great in Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph rewarded Minnesota for extending his contract a year ago by catching 39 passes for 367 yards and six touchdowns.

While these numbers don’t look all that impressive at first glance, he did become Kirk Cousins‘ primary target in the red zone last season, especially after Adam Thielen got hurt.

In addition to Rudolph, the Vikings also have second-year player Irv Smith Jr. who they are very high on. This kid had some great moments in his first season and he showed the ability to make explosive plays.

While there were many times where he either got tripped up before getting a huge gain or the play was called back due to a penalty, Smith was on the cusp of exploding for huge gains many times last year. He is a prime candidate for a breakout season in 2020.

Minnesota’s tight end talent doesn’t end with Smith. They also have Tyler Conklin, who was a fifth-round choice a couple of seasons ago. While targets are hard to come by for him, he has shown solid hands and he is an above-average blocker.

The Vikings surprised many a year ago and they kept a fourth tight end on the roster. Undrafted rookie Brandon Dillon impressed in the preseason with his pass-catching ability and he made the team, though he only appeared in one game and he didn’t catch a pass.

Minnesota is talent heavy at tight end and while it seems unlikely they’ll keep four again, there’s a possibility the player they don’t keep this year is dealt for future draft picks.