Super early 22-man starter projections for the 2022 Vikings

(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn
(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /

Starting Tight End

  • Irv Smith Jr.

It’s been a while since we last saw Irv Smith Jr. appear in a meaningful game for the Vikings. The 23-year-old tight end missed the entire 2021 season after injuring his knee during a preseason matchup.

It was a tough pill to swallow because many felt Smith was heading into a breakout year with Minnesota last season. Instead, he had to watch from the sidelines as his team missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.

With his contract set to expire in 2023, the 2022 season is not only vital for Smith’s future with the Vikings, but it’s vital for his future as an NFL player as well.

After getting selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Smith has yet to reach the full potential that some felt he was capable of when he was drafted.

If he doesn’t have a breakout performance in 2022, it’s possible that we could be entering the final season with Smith suiting up for the Vikings.