4 most underhyped Vikings heading into the 2021 season

(Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings /

Tyler Conklin, tight end

The Minnesota Vikings will look a little different without Kyle Rudolph on the field. Rudolph had been a mainstay for the team since joining the purple and gold during the 2011 NFL draft but now lends his talents to the New York Giants.

To replace his production, the Vikings are hoping the young, dynamic Irv Smith Jr. will step up in a big way. However, if the end of last season is any indication, Minnesota will have backup Tyler Conklin on the field quite a bit as well.

Conklin played in all 16 games last season, starting two contests. He had career highs in every category including receptions (19), receiving yards (194), and first down catches (11) while grabbing his first career touchdown.

Expect Conklin to set new career highs in 2021 with more time on the field. He and Smith are an interesting tight end duo that offers solid blocking to go with dangerous receiving skills. He will be one to watch this year.