Tight end is another position the Vikings are extremely deep at and will definitely not address with their first-round choice in 2021. While the future of Kyle Rudolph does slightly increase the possibility of them doing just that, Minnesota has bigger needs they have to address first.
If they do keep Rudolph, hopefully after a restructure, tight end is completely off the table. Even with Rudolph coming off a down season, he is still a very valuable asset in the passing game, and he has proven time and time again to be a dangerous target in the red zone.
Behind him are two tight ends that really emerged in 2020. Irv Smith Jr. stepped up as the red zone target when Rudolph was out. He caught five touchdown passes and became a weapon that Kirk Cousins began to trust and rely on later in the season.
Tyler Conklin also stepped up. He showed surprisingly soft hands catching just about everything that was thrown his way. Conklin had a career season with 26 grabs for 194 yards and a touchdown. This duo proved they could handle the load if Rudolph is let go in the offseason. The Vikings also have a nice pass-catching option on the practice squad in Brandon Dillon, who could see a bigger role if Rudolph isn’t brought back.
While it would be tough for Minnesota to pass on former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts if he fell to them at pick No. 14, they’d be better off cutting a deal with a team that needs a tight end and moving down the board to pick up another pick or two.