Irv Smith Jr. came off the board for the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 50 overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, filling another major need on the offensive side of the ball and an athletic playmaker over the middle of the field. That said, it seems to have created a situation where Kyle Rudolph may now be on the block with Smith being the future of the position in the Twin Cities.
“Smith (6-foot-2, 242 lbs) does not possess the height that some of his counterparts do. However, he does have similar skillsets. Smith was lined up all over the field for the Crimson Tide,” 247Sports’ Josh Edwards wrote about the prospect. “He is not as fast as Noah Fant but he is a better blocker. He blocks with good leverage. He does have some issues with allowing the ball to get too far into his body, which leads to drops. He also had an issue fumbling the ball. The tight end shows soft hands and the knowledge of sitting in the soft spot of the opponent’s zone.”Here are some of the initial reactions to Smith being the latest member of the Vikings.
This is what the draft is all about when reaction videos like this drop. So many kids dream of this day and players worth tireless days and nights just to get their names in the conversation. Smith now joins the Vikings after being one of Alabama’s most explosive playmakers in a passing game that was cranked up far more than years prior with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. It is hard not to feel happy for any player that sees his dream come true, let alone if he becomes a Viking or not.
“Irv Smith’s dad, Irv Smith Sr., played tight end for New Orleans, San Francisco and Cleveland from 1993-98 and caught 183 passes for 1,788 yards. #Vikings took junior at No. 50 in second round” – Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press
We love a good story that comes out of nowhere, but Smith seemed destined for NFL Draft stardom given his lineage and time playing for Nick Saban at Alabama. The Vikings will take any explosion they can out of him.
“Jamaal Stephenson on whether he sees Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. working together in ’12’ personnel: “‘I’ll let the coaches talk to you guys about how they plan to use these guys. I can just tell you he’s athletically kind of what we’ve been looking for.'” – via Sam Ekstrom
People will immediately assume that Rudolph is on the way out, but these two still fit together and bring different traits to the table. Stephenson feels he may not be qualified to place him, but he backs up the profile and what they were wanting to add at the position.
“Jamaal Stephenson, the #Vikings directory of college scouting, talked extensively about Irv Smith Jr.’s versatility and production as a receiver. As a run blocker, “OK…work in progress” but willing and a big body.” – via Viking Update’s Tim Yotter on Twitter
In our profile, we wrote he is “a willing and solid blocker,” so it seems that the projection was on point for what he brings to the table as a prospect. Don’t expect him putting his hand down right off the bat.
“Irv Smith Jr. ‘I don’t believe a safety or linebacker can cover me one-on-one.”‘ – via Chad Graff of The Athletic
And this is why the Vikings targeted him. He is a mismatch over the middle of the field that is basically a wide receiver playing tight end, a la what Jordan Reed was for Kirk Cousins when the two played together with the Washington Redskins.
Speaking of Cousins, his reaction on social media said, “Welcome to the team @swervinirvin_ …happy for you and your family, now lets get to work!”
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. with the 50th overall pick in the second round on Friday night, adding another potential field-stretching pass-catcher for quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Smith became the fourth Alabama tight end drafted in the last eight years, with O.J. Howard the most recent in 2017 by Tampa Bay with the 19th overall pick in the first round. Smith is the son of former NFL tight end Irv Smith, who played the first five of his seven seasons in the league with New Orleans.
The Vikings have one proven tight end in Kyle Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl pick and ninth-year veteran who’s long been a reliable receiver.
The Vikings picked North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury in the first round on Thursday night.