Smith had three receptions for 20 yards on three targets, including a 10-yard touchdown, in Sunday's win over Denver.
Smith's role in the offense continues to grow as he recorded his first NFL touchdown. He played on a season-high 81 percent of the offense's snaps and ran routes on 37 of 51 plays. 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 clearly is becoming a regular part of the game plan.
Smith had five receptions for 34 yards on six targets in Sunday's win at Dallas.
Smith was tied for second on the team in targets even on a day when Kyle Rudolph had four receptions and two touchdowns. Smith is getting more looks with Adam Thielen out with a hamstring injury, and his role in the offense should continue to grow because he's drawing praise from the coaching staff. He has 17 receptions and 21 targets in his last four games.
Smith had four receptions for 33 yards on six targets in Sunday's 26-23 loss at Kansas City.
Smith's role in the offense continues to grow as he's had 12 receptions and 15 targets in his last three games, compared to a total of seven catches and eight targets in his first six games. That trend could accelerate if Adam Thielen remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Smith had three receptions for 21 yards on three targets in Thursday's win over Washington.
Smith was tied for third in targets, but he didn't get a huge boost in usage despite Adam Thielen (hamstring) missing the game. The rookie did play his most snaps on offense all season (64 percent), which is a good sign his role may continue to grow.
Smith caught five of six targets for 60 yards during Sunday's 42-30 win over the Lions.
Smith finished second on the team in receiving yards and tied for second in receptions. The majority of his production came on one play -- a 28-yard reception in the first quarter -- but his six targets and five receptions were new personal bests. Smith's increased usage coincided with an injury to Adam Thielen (hamstring) early in the contest, meaning he could be similarly involved Thursday against the Redskins if his aforementioned teammate is forced to sit out.
Smith had two receptions for 29 yards on two targets in Sunday's win over the Eagles.
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, but he's still behind Kyle Rudolph in playing time (67 snaps) and isn't featured beyond a few targets per game.
Smith caught a single pass for a five-yard gain during Sunday's 16-6 loss to Chicago.
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.
Smith had three receptions for 60 yards on three targets in Sunday's win over Oakland.
Smith played on 31 of the offense's 62 snaps. He's seen a larger role in the offense each week after not being targeted in the opener and logging two looks 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.
Smith lost a yard on his only reception and had two targets in Sunday's loss at Green Bay.
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 run routes 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.
Smith played 26 snaps on offense Sunday, but was not targeted in the passing game.
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 read on Smith's role until the Vikings are forced to pass the ball.
Smith Jr. caught all five of his targets for 28 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's preseason win over the Seahawks.
Smith Jr. continued to rack up short gains and managed to get into the end zone for the first time this preseason. The second-round pick 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 has potential to be a better pass catcher 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.
Vikings assistant Gary Kubiak said Smith has impressed the coaching staff with his blocking, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.
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.
Smith Jr. caught three of seven targets for 21 yards during Friday's 35-24 preseason win over the Saints.
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.
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.
With Kyle Rudolph recently signed to a contract extension, Smith will be limited to the second- or third-string tight end role 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.
Smith Jr. lined up all over the field during this week'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.
Kyle Rudolph was away from practice during the week 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 innovative ways to get him the ball.
The Vikings selected Smith Jr. in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 50th overall.
The Alabama product is the third tight end off the board in this year's class. Smith Jr. lacks ideal size for an in-line tight end at 6-foot-2 3/8 and 242 pounds but he brings athleticism (4.63 40-yard dash) and pass-catching ability to the table. He earned second-team All-American honors as a redshirt sophomore, bringing in 44 receptions for 710 yards and seven scores in an explosive Alabama offense. Smith's fit with the Vikings as it stands is interesting considering Kyle Rudolph is under contract, although his time in Minnesota may be nearing an end. If Rudolph is gone by the start of the season, Smith would suddenly have a path to plenty of targets.
|Bye: Week 12|
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