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Rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. catches on quickly in Vikings offense

For just the third time since the start of the 2018 season, the Vikings' leading receiver on Sunday was not named Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph or Adam Thielen.

It was a rookie tight end offering a three-catch sampler platter of what he can become in the team's offense.

On Sunday, second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. was one of three tight ends running a vertical route on the Vikings' first drive, hauling in a 20-yard completion from Kirk Cousins. The quarterback found Smith for 26 yards on a corner route in the second quarter, and Smith flowed behind the Vikings offensive line in the third quarter, on what looked like a backside block on a zone run, before releasing into the flat for a 26-yard catch and run that was called back because of Chad Beebe's illegal block.