4 Vikings we can safely call busts after the 2022 season

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /

Irv Smith Jr. – TE

Injuries will be the reason that Irv Smith Jr. will go down as a bust with the Vikings. The guy had all the potential in the world but was constantly dinged, and injured.

In four seasons with the team, he played in just 37 games with 15 starts. He accumulated 91 receptions for 858 yards and nine total touchdowns. The hope was that after a couple of years, he’d post those types of numbers in a single season.

That’s the kind of talent Smith has. He’s excellent after the catch with great speed, and toughness to break tackles. He was basically a wide receiver playing tight end and should have created constant mismatches when lined up against linebackers and safeties.

Minnesota got to see glimpses of Smith’s potential but he could not stay on the field long enough to fully realize it.

He was supposed to be a star tight end for the Vikings, but his failure led the team to go out and trade for T.J. Hockenson and he is now their future at the tight end position. Not only is he the future, but he also instantly produced in the way that many assumed Smith would.

Smith still has time to salvage his career. He may find an opportunity with another team this offseason, but we can now confidently label him a bust when it comes to his time with Minnesota.