6 Minnesota Vikings players that nobody talks about

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /

2. Irv Smith Jr. – TE

Irv Smith Jr. has all the makings of the next great pass-catching tight end in the NFL. He showcased tremendous promise during his rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings. And this will have given the player an untold amount of confidence heading into 2020.

Smith Jr. came into the league with a big reputation after a standout career at Alabama. He might have played second fiddle to experienced veteran Kyle Rudolph. But it was hard not to be impressed with the contribution he made in his first year.

His athletic traits were matched by an outstanding ability to catch under pressure. Smith Jr. hauled in 36 of 47 balls thrown his way to secure 311 yards and two touchdowns in 2019.

This represented some encouraging production from the player. And although Rudolph is still around, there is every chance that Smith Jr. will see a far increased role next season.

The task of getting Smith Jr. more involved will fall on new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. The tight end will be used prominently in the slot in 2020. And there is even the possibility for him to line up on the outside on occasions.

It is hard not to like Smith Jr.’s chances of becoming an influential roster member going forward. The Vikings have secured some tremendous performers from the NFL Draft in recent seasons. And the second-year pro is sure to add his name to this list.