Arif Hasan of The Athletic writes Irv Smith has the talent and opportunity to become the No. 3 weapon in the Vikings' passing game. (The Athletic)
The tight end position has one of the longest learning curves coming out of the draft, but Smith is now entering his third season in the NFL. Kyle Rudolph is in New York and the third-year pro has a clear path to the starting role. The Vikings have a limited number of pass-catchers behind Justin Jefferson and an aging Adam Thielen, which presents a big opportunity for the former Crimson Tide to become the No. 3 option in the passing game. The Vikings routinely play with two tight ends on the field more than most, so he should have ample playing time. When Rudolph went down with an injury late last year, Smith had 15 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns in weeks 14-17. During that time, he ranked as the TE4. It's a small sample size to be sure, but fantasy managers shouldn't be surprised if he breaks into the top-10 for tight ends. He's currently being drafted as the TE11, which is a nice spot for fantasy managers to target him.