Irv Smith Jr.

Irv Smith Jr.

Tight End #82
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Ht / Wt:6'2" / 242 lb.
College:Alabama
Age:22
Born:August 9, 1998
Drafted:2019 / Rd. 2 (50)
Draft Team:MIN

Irv Smith Jr.: Finishes with 311 yards

Smith caught 36 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games this season.

Analysis: The rookie second-round pick ended up played a sizable role for the Vikings during his debut campaign with 620 offensive snaps, and he also put up similar numbers to top tight end Kyle Rudolph (39 catches for 367 yards and six touchdowns). Rudolph figures to enter training camp atop the depth chart, but Smith could carve out a larger role in the passing game in 2020.

January 13, 2020 10:39 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Gains 11 yards

Smith caught one of two passes for 11 yards during Sunday's 21-19 loss to Chicago.

Analysis: Sunday's performance snapped a three-game streak in which Smith caught multiple passes. Catching passes from Sean Mannion as Kirk Cousins rested Sunday makes the game itself hard to weigh, but the rookie tight end has been on a bit of a down swing with 20 or fewer yards in five of his last six games, though he has scored twice in that span. The Vikings travel to New Orleans for a wildcard matchup Sunday.

December 31, 2019 3:02 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Kept to four yards

Smith caught two of three targets for four yards during Monday's 23-10 loss to Green Bay.

Analysis: Smith has now been held to single-digit receiving yardage in three of his last four games. The rookie tight end has garnered more snaps than your typical TE 2, with at least 30 offensive snaps in every game since Week 5, and has been targeted at least three times in nine consecutive games. That hasn't translated much into production, however, as Smith has mostly served as an underneath option this season. The regular season ends Sunday against a Bears squad that surrendered a single five-yard catch to Smith in Week 4.

December 24, 2019 8:53 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Catches second touchdown

Smith had two receptions for eight yards, including a one-yard touchdown, on three targets in Sunday's win at the Chargers.

Analysis: Minnesota didn't need to do much in the passing game in the second half with a large lead, which may have limited Smith's targets, but he did add his second touchdown catch of the season. He's had three or more targets in eight consecutive games despite the low yardage total Sunday and was still a factor in the passing game with Adam Thielen returning from a hamstring injury. Smith could see increased targets next week if Minnesota's passing game is needed more against Green Bay.

December 16, 2019 1:03 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Three receptions Sunday

Smith had three receptions for 21 yards on four targets in Sunday's win over Detroit.

Analysis: Smith started the game in a two-TE set with Kyle Rudolph. He had had more snaps (51) than Rudolph (46). Smith has become a larger part of the offense as the season progressed and with Adam Thielen sidelined with a hamstring injury, but he has just four receptions the past two games. He didn't get targeted much in Sunday's game once the Vikings had a large lead and turned to the running game.

December 10, 2019 11:03 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Brings in one catch in loss

Smith caught one of three targets for a six-yard gain during Monday's 37-30 loss to Seattle.

Analysis: Kirk Cousins caught a second-quarter pass in the flat and tried turning up field for a first down, but was met with a big hit with Quandre Diggs bringing him down short. The game snapped a five-game streak in which the rookie tight end had caught at least three passes per game -- most of those games ending with minimal yardage. He should get back on track Sunday against the Lions, a team he set or tied season highs against with five catches, six targets and 60 yards in Week 7.

December 3, 2019 6:34 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Gets first NFL touchdown

Smith had three receptions for 290 yards on three targets, including a ten-yard touchdown, in Sunday's win over Denver.

Analysis: Smith's role in the offense continues to grow as he recorded his first NFL touchdown. Smith played on a season-high 81 percent of the offense's snaps and ran routes on 37 of 51 snaps. He has 20 receptions and 24 targets over his last five games. His targets may decline slightly when Adam Thielen returns from a hamstring injury, but Smith is clearly becoming a regular part of the game plan.

November 18, 2019 12:54 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Two receptions Sunday

Smith had two receptions for 29 yards on two targets in Sunday's win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Smith played on 38 of the offense's 70 snaps, which was a season-high 55 percent. Smith will get more involved in the offense when the Vikings turn to the passing game like Sunday, but he's still behind Kyle Rudolph in playing time (67 snaps) and isn't featured beyond a few targets per game.

October 14, 2019 2:19 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Falls back down to earth

Smith caught a single pass for a five-yard gain during Sunday's 16-6 loss to Chicago.

Analysis: The rookie looked promising in Week 3's beatdown of Oakland with three catches for 60 yards. Up against a stouter defense in Chicago, the picture wasn't as pretty. Smith, outside of Week 3, has just two catches for four total yards and tempers flared a bit after Sunday's game with the Vikings struggling to get their passing game going. The Giants' 25th-ranked pass defense may be the cure to Smith and Minnesota's ills Sunday.

October 1, 2019 4:17 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Three receptions Sunday

Smith had three receptions for 60 yards on three targets in Sunday's win over Oakland.

Analysis: Smith played on 31 of the offense's 62 snaps. He's seen a lager role in the offense each week after no targets the first week and two targets last week. He's not getting enough targets to warrant a roster spot in most formats and his upside is limited as long as Kyle Rudolph is healthy, but it's worth monitoring his role in the offense in case Sunday's increasing usage is a trend.

September 23, 2019 4:17 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Gets first career reception

Smith lost a yard on his only reception and had two targets in Sunday's loss at Green Bay.

Analysis: Smith played on 27 of the offense's 65 snaps. It's promising that he got his first target and reception of the season, and he did go out for passes on 17 of his 27 snaps. However, he's such a small factor in the offense that he's not a viable option in almost any fantasy format at the moment.

September 16, 2019 1:59 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: No targets Sunday

Smith played 26 snaps on offense Sunday, but was not targeted in the passing game.

Analysis: The good news is that Smith played on 26 of the offense's 53 snaps. The bad news is he didn't get a target, but it's hard to read too much into a week where the Vikings offense barely needed to pass (10 attempts) due to their success on the ground (172 yards rushing). It looks like the Vikings are going to utilize two-tight end sets, but we may not get a true reed on Smith's role until the Vikings are forced to pass the ball.

September 9, 2019 10:01 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Hits paydirt Sunday

Smith Jr. caught all five of his targets for 28 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's preseason win over the Seahawks.

Analysis: Smith Jr. continued to rack up short little gains, but managed to get into the endzone for the first time this preseason. The second-round saw most of his snaps with the second unit, and that figures to be his role early on behind stalwart Kyle Rudolph. Smith Jr. -- who is projected to be a better offensive option than Rudolph -- was praised for his run-blocking improvement earlier this week, so a potential changing of the guard could happen if he keeps that up. The rookie will look to build on this performance during Saturday's preseason tilt against Arizona.

August 18, 2019 8:53 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Surprising

Vikings assistant Gary Kubiak said Smith has impressed the coaching staff with his blocking, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.

Analysis: Best known for his speed and pass-catching potential, the rookie second-round pick could perhaps use unexpected prowess as a blocker to convince the Vikings to deploy more formations with multiple tight ends. The team's lack of wideout talent behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs adds to the appeal of that plan, but Smith didn't make the best case for himself with three catches for just 21 yards on seven targets in the preseason opener. He could be in for another busy night Sunday against the Seahawks, with No. 1 tight end Kyle Rudolph likely to be limited to one or two drives.

August 15, 2019 12:32 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Targeted seven times in debut

Smith Jr. caught three of seven targets for 21 yards during Friday's 35-24 preseason win over the Saints.

Analysis: Smith Jr. curiously managed just three seven-yard receptions, but it wasn't for a lack of effort, as he was the only Vikings player with more than three targets. He didn't feature alongside Kirk Cousins and the starters, though the team clearly made an effort to get him the ball once the substitutions rolled in. Smith Jr. is a player to watch and will look to produce more efficiently in the next contest against the Seahawks.

August 9, 2019 9:46 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Continues multi-position work

While Smith has worked primarily with the second-team offense in training camp, he has mixed in with the starters at "F" tight end, meaning he will be aligned all over the field from fullback to slot receiver, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Analysis: With Kyle Rudolph signed to an extension, Smith will be limited to the second- or third-string tight end in his rookie season. However, there's a chance he could be the de facto third receiver in the offense if the plan to move him around becomes a regular part of the offensive game plan.

August 6, 2019 9:47 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Lininig up all over the field

Smith Jr. lined up all over the field during Saturday's OTA practice, from split out wide to in line next to the tackle and drew praise from coaches for his performance, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Analysis: Kyle Rudolph was away from practice and David Morgan is missing OTAs with an undisclosed injury, so Smith got extra work. Still, this shows how the Vikings may utilize Smith all over the field and find innovate ways to get him the ball.

June 2, 2019 8:20 AM EST

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