5 bold questions for the Minnesota Vikings offense in 2020

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /

Will Smith break out in 2020?

For years, Vikings have wanted a dynamic complement to Kyle Rudolph. Last season, they took a big step toward getting one with the selection of Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the NFL Draft.

The Alabama product didn’t put up a rookie campaign that would help anyone win their fantasy league with 36 catches, 311 yards, and two touchdowns. But he showed signs of improvement down the stretch.

As Bo Mitchell of Zone Coverage recently pointed out, Smith’s snap count expanded despite not seeing 60 percent of the team’s offensive snaps until Week 8. From Week 8 to Week 16, Smith saw an uptick in snaps, which resulted in 20 catches for 126 yards and his first two career touchdowns.

Heading into 2020, the Vikings would probably like to see more from the young tight end. Smith was one of the youngest players coming out of last year’s draft class (he’ll turn 22 on August 9) and with a 40-yard dash time of 4.63 seconds, there’s a thought that Minnesota could use him more as a downfield threat.

Rudolph is still with the Vikings, but the development of Smith will be key for the team’s offense. If he can take a step forward in 2020, it will give Gary Kubiak another opportunity to move his pieces around and that should allow Kirk Cousins to become even more efficient.