While most dynasty sites have Irv Smith ranked outside the top 12 for tight ends, he should be ranked inside the top 10. Stuck in a low volume passing offense, time is running out to buy this future star before his impending breakout.
Prospect Profile and Production
In 2018 for the Alabama Crimson Tide, his only college season of note, Irv Smith recorded 44 receptions for 710 yards and seven touchdowns despite playing alongside Damien Harris, Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Devonta Smith.
Smith ran a 4.63 (87th-percentile among qualified tight ends) 40-Yard Dash at 6-2 and 242-pounds, solidifying the validity of his 16.1 (87th-percentile) College YPR.
Smith recorded 36 (No. 23) receptions for 311 (No. 33) yards with two (No. 33) touchdowns as a 21-year-old rookie. To put that into context, that’s No. 3 in receptions and No. 6 in yards all time for a tight end at age 21. He was able to accomplish this while having a mere 61.7-percent (No. 34) Shap Share and, per PFF, rush blocking on 43.3-percent of his snaps with a No. 22 grade out of 67 qualified tight ends.
In the second half of last season, Smith saw nearly a 20-percent increase in Snap Share and his Route Participation basically doubled from the first half of the season.
The target tree in Minnesota is consolidated by a run-heavy scheme that ranked dead last in three-receiver sets, using them 25-percent of the time in 2019. The secondary receiving options on this team are rookie Justin Jefferson and sophomore Olabisi Johnson. With Adam Thielen being the only true target hog while also entering his age 30 season, Smith is set up to become a top three option and featured part of the Vikings passing game.
Check out Irv Smith on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Dynasty Rankings and Projections:
In addition, Kyle Rudolph enters his age 31 season carrying the fourth-highest contract for a tight end in the NFL. Already a cut candidate at the end of last season due to his contract situation, the Vikings decided to re-sign him to a deal that runs through 2023. However, they front loaded the guaranteed money into 2019 and can save over seven million dollars on the 2021 cap with a post-June 1st cut date.
Tight end is considered the toughest offensive position to come into and produce right away at the pro level. Irv Smith was able to do so as a 21-year-old rookie back-up tight end, making his 2019 season even more impressive. The combination of producing at such a young age, the athletic profile, and the current passing options on the Vikings make him a prime buy candidate before his eventual breakout.