Home Uncategorized Zimmer Tappers Excitement on Irv Smith Jr. Possible Breakout Season

Zimmer Tappers Excitement on Irv Smith Jr. Possible Breakout Season

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November 8, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith (84) celebrates with tight end Tyler Conklin (83) after catching a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden—USA TODAY SPORTS

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has different plans for 2021 than you.

Or so he says.

One of the most discussed theories of the Vikings off-season involves the takeover of TE1 duties by a pass-catcher of the third year, Irv Smith Jr. Kyle Rudolph, who played in Minnesota for 10 years, left the organization for the New York Giants in March, Smith. Opening a flaming rooster hole for the top to climb.

Well, Smith could still do that, but it’s not so obvious, if Mike Zimmer’s words are to be believed. On Wednesday, he put the brakes on a goal-heavy season for Smith – something Vikings pundits and fans have forecast for a few months.

This is notable for two reasons. Most importantly, Vikings does not employ a sure-fire WR3 until June 1, so it was speculated that the Smiths may secretly operate as a WR3. Zimmer’s words directly refute such a theory. Instead, what can be derived from the Zimmer quote is “more of the same” in the tight end. That is, just as Smith and Rudolph split passing-game goals in 2019 and 2010 – so will Smith and Tyler Conklin in 2021.

Although it was believed that Conklin would serve as TE2 this fall, he was not judged by Zimmer as a heavily-targeted asset to date. Either Zimmer is lying – he has done before related to roster operations – or Smith will be a Smith-Conklin combo platter for a breakout season.

Some fans are happy that Tyler Conklin has matured. The following is exaggerated with some comedy, but people usually don’t throw out tweets like this unless there’s some lingering excitement:

Ergo, we’ve reached the “compare Tyler Conklin to Rob Gronkowski” part of the season, although the tweet was probably made in jest.

Conklin scored a modest 52.6 . scored of Pro Football Focus Scores in 2020, 19 receptions for 194 yards and one touchdown. In the final four games of the pandemic season, Conklin recorded 30+ receiving yards in each game – an impressive 2020 finish with Rudolph.

Get used to it; It appears Zimmer has lofty plans for Conklin, previously undermined by Vikings echo chambers. Most knew that Conklin would become a TE2 on the Depth charts, but if the Zimmer pseudo-declaration is accurate, his role could grow into a hybrid or shared TE1 gig.

However, this should not be construed as a slander of Smith. The Alabama alumnus has already scored the ninth-most Vikings touchdowns of the Mike Zimmer era. He has scored seven times in two seasons.

During the Super Bowl era, here’s how Smith compared to other tight ends during the age of 22:

  • Rob Gronkowski (28)
  • Aaron Hernandez (13)
  • Hunter Henry (8)
  • David Nojoku (8)
  • Irv Smith Jr. (7)
  • Raymond Chester (7)
  • Todd Heap (7)
  • Joni Mitchell (7)
  • Charles Young (7)
  • Jason Witten (7)

Smith is also quite young. He is 20 months younger than Jeff Gladney, the legally disgraced cornerback who was drafted in the year After the Smith.

And for posterity, Smith’s career has been compared to the late Kyle Rudolph:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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