Tight End Fits for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft

Minnesota Vikings tight end
IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 23: Iowa Hawkeyes tight end T.J. Hockenson (38) signals a first down after catching a ten-yard pass late in the game during a Big Ten Conference football game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 23, 2018, at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings need help along the offensive line this off-season. However, the team also needs to invest a draft pick at tight end, and this is the perfect year to do it. Here are the best tight end fits for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Kyle Rudolph has been a reliable pass catcher for the Vikings for quite some while now. Still, the offense needs another weapon next to Rudolph that adds another dimension to both the passing and running game. Rudolph is a pass-catcher, but he lacks the ability to create after the catch, which is crucial in today’s NFL. David Morgan is a perfect run-blocking complement to Rudolph, but he doesn’t add much to the passing attack. With a loaded tight end class in 2019, expect the Vikings to target another tight end in April.

Minnesota Vikings Tight End Fits in the 2019 NFL Draft

T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

T.J. Hockenson may not be the tight end on the Iowa Hawkeyes, but he is still one of the best tight ends in the country. He won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college football in 2018. He finished the 2018 season with 49 catches for 760 yards and six touchdowns. Hockenson is incredibly athletic and can create yards after the catch with ease. He would be an option to complement Rudolph for now and replace him in the near future.

Hockenson is also a tough blocker in the run game. The Iowa product plays with speed while measuring at 6’5” and 250 pounds, according to the team’s official website. He will likely fly up boards once he tests at the combine and at his pro day, but the Vikings could target him in day two. There is a chance he could land inside the top forty come draft night, but the Vikings are a team to keep an eye on if he falls.

Caleb Wilson, UCLA

The Vikings love the UCLA connection. Caleb Wilson will likely be another highly-touted Bruin come April. He may not have the same speed as others tight ends in the class, but he is a very solid receiving option in the middle of the field. And although he lacks speed, Wilson has enough quickness to turn up-field. Wilson has shown the ability to take over the game if needed.

As a vertical threat at UCLA, Wilson was not asked to block much, but his versatility in the passing game will make him a hot commodity in the draft. If the Vikings want him, they will have to take a chance on him early on. He plays very similarly to Kyle Rudolph, so that transition would be simple, if that’s the direction the Vikings choose to take.

Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Dawson Knox is yet another pass-catching tight end that will be a stud at the next level. He is an athletic receiver with great size and hands. Despite being listed as a tight end, Knox excelled in the slot at Ole Miss.

His production was down at Ole Miss, but he played alongside a ton of NFL talent. He caught just 39 passes in three season and never reached the end zone for the Rebels. However, he averaged 15.5 yards per catch over his career, including 18.9 yards per catch in 2018. Knox is 6’4” and 240 pounds, and he will test well during the off-season. The NFL will be all over him as a prospect.

Dax Raymond, Utah State

The Vikings are no stranger to finding tight ends from smaller schools. Dax Raymond fits that mold as well this year. Raymond very well may be the best run-blocking tight end in the draft, but he is capable of making plays in the passing game. He is an athletic, quick blocker in space with good enough hands to contribute in the middle of the field.

Raymond did not see a ton of production at Utah State, but his role in the offense was clear. He sets the edge in the run game and attacks the seam in the pass game. He will be a very good complimentary tight end in the NFL. The Vikings could value Raymond later in the draft.

Whether the Vikings want to find a tight end early or late, they will have options. The 2019 draft class is filled with talented tight ends, and a lot of pass-catchers that will excel at the next level.

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  1. […] There is speculation that Kyle Rudolph is in danger of being a cap casualty, but not so fast. While the Vikings may look to a new tight end in the draft, Rudolph should be around as a mentor for at least one more season. That said, drafting a tight end seems very likely in this draft. The 2019 tight end class is one of the best, with plenty of talent to be found throughout all seven rounds. Using a mid-round pick on Dawson Knox or Dax Raymond sets the Vikings up nicely moving forward. Their scouting reports can be found here. […]


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