4 Minnesota Vikings who are in jeopardy of becoming busts

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings /

Irv Smith Jr. – TE

It really is hard putting Irv Smith Jr. on a list of Minnesota Vikings who could potentially hear the word “bust” associated with their name because this guy is so loaded with talent, but it is what it is. Smith just hasn’t produced through almost two seasons, to the level of being a mid-second-round pick.

He’s teased Vikings’ fans with moments of greatness, showing off his speed, hands, and route running but those glimpses are few and far between. Through his first 25 games in the league, Smith has caught 51 passes for 493 yards and four touchdowns. That is over a season and a half and many figured he’d produce those numbers in about half that time.

Smith has been hurt recently, but even so, has just 15 catches this year and seems to be regressing from a production standpoint. That is frustrating because offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak was very vocal in the offseason about how they were going to utilize Smith this season in the offense and move him around to create mismatches.

They haven’t done that, as the offense goes through Dalvin Cook. When Cousins does throw, he’s looking at Thielen or Jefferson the majority of the time and rarely goes Smith’s way.

So while the lack of production doesn’t fall directly on Smith, if it continues, he may begin hearing the word “bust” whispered when his name is mentioned next season.