Irv Smith Jr. played a career-high 81 percent of snaps during Sunday's 27-23 win against the Broncos, whose cornerback Davontae Harris watched as the Vikings rookie glided past him on a post route for a 10-yard touchdown that sparked the Vikings' comeback.
Smith's first NFL touchdown showed growth from the 21-year-old tight end, who read the coverage and found the open space on an apparent option route.
"He made a good read on the touchdown catch," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. "Every day I see him getting better, running better routes, lining up. I think it's just part of the process of becoming more reliable.