6 players the Vikings should have drafted instead of Irv Smith Jr.

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) A.J. Brown
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) A.J. Brown /
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The Minnesota Vikings have said goodbye to their 2019 second round-pick, Irv Smith Jr., but who could they have selected instead?

When the Minnesota Vikings drafted Irv Smith Jr., they thought they had the athletic tight end they were looking for. Kyle Rudolph was becoming more of a lumbering force, and the Vikings were looking for a tight end that could not only block at the same level that Rudolph did but add a receiving element that could stretch the field.

But after selecting Smith with the 50th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Vikings’ vision never came to fruition. A laundry list of injuries kept Smith off the field, and when he was on it, his play was disappointing enough that the Vikings traded for T.J. Hockenson at last year’s trade deadline.

The end of Smith’s tenure in Minnesota was clear once the Vikings made that trade, and it became official earlier this week when he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. As one of the more disappointing draft picks in recent history, it’s fair to wonder what could have been.

In this article, we’ll look at six players the Vikings could have drafted over Smith and how it could have changed the trajectory of the past four years.