TE Irv Smith Jr.
The Vikings took Smith in the second round of last year’s draft and certainly aren’t disappointed with the production he gave them in year one. Smith caught 36 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He came on later in the season and slowly worked his way into a consistent role in the offense.
While those numbers were decent for Smith Jr. in year one, he’s expected to make a fairly large leap in production his second season. Without Stefon Diggs on the roster, the Vikings will be looking to create big plays with some of their other weapons. Smith Jr. will be one of those. He’s an extremely athletic and explosive tight end, with great overall speed. He is built more like a wide receiver and will be a mismatch for any linebacker or safety assigned to cover him.
Gary Kubiak loves using two tight end sets, and in those formations could look for Smith to provide an explosive play. His production should increase quite a bit in his second season, and he could even surpass Kyle Rudolph as the team’s most productive tight end.
However, if Smith Jr. doesn’t take the next step forward, that would be cause for concern. While he has more cushion than most on this list, if his production doesn’t take a huge spike upward in 2020, fans and the Vikings may begin to wonder if he will ever live up to his potential.