Irv Smith is a key part of the Vikings’ vision to run more “12” personnel — one running back, two tight ends — with Kyle Rudolph, and make it harder for defenses to guess if plays are run or pass. Smith also has high expectations for himself, joking he would like to catch 10 touchdowns as a rookie to come near his father’s career total.
The Vikings see Smith as a “move” or “F” tight end, meaning he will be aligned all over the field from fullback to slot receiver and run routes accentuating his shiftiness, the story said. Tight ends need to know pass protection, like offensive linemen; they need to know the routes, like wide receivers; and in Smith’s case, they need to know how to lead block, like a fullback, the story said. It's been a work in progress but there is a big learning curve for the rookie, mostly because of his skills.