Should the Vikings add another tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft?

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin /

Do the Minnesota Vikings need to find a replacement for Kyle Rudolph in the upcoming NFL Draft?

Last month, the Minnesota Vikings made the difficult decision to release their longtime tight end, Kyle Rudolph.

The Vikings drafted Rudolph back in 2011 and he remained with the team ever since. But now he and Minnesota will find out next season what life is like without each other.

In his place, the Vikings now have Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin at the top of their tight end depth chart. Smith and Conklin put together some impressive performances last season, but should Minnesota still be looking to add another player to their tight end room during the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft?

Picking a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft not necessary for Minnesota Vikings

While some might view tight end as an underrated need for the Vikings heading into this year’s draft, it’s really not.

Minnesota could use the draft to possibly add more depth to the group. But the Vikings using an early-round selection on a tight end seems highly unlikely.

With Smith and Conklin expected to be the top two guys on the depth chart, Minnesota could have competition this summer to figure out who will be their No. 3 tight end. Brandon Dillon is the only other tight end on the Vikings’ current roster, so it’s possible that they could draft someone to compete with him for a spot on their final 2021 roster.

So far this offseason, Boston College’s Hunter Long and Ole Miss’ Kenny Yeboah are two of the tight ends Minnesota has reportedly met with. Long is someone who could come off the board at the end of the third round this year, while Yeboah will likely be picked during the final three rounds of the draft if he gets selected at all.

Even if Long is still available when it comes time for the Vikings to make one of their two picks in the third round, it would be a shock if they used such a high selection on a tight end.

Adding someone like Yeboah on Day 3 or signing a tight end who didn’t get picked after the draft is a scenario that feels more believable for Minnesota this year. Tight end just doesn’t seem like a position group the Vikings will be looking to add to early in the 2021 draft.