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Vikings at Broncos Preseason 2018: Five Game-Changi

 
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 5:55 am Post subject: No icon Vikings at Broncos Preseason 2018: Five Game-Changi Reply with quote

ng Plays It was a brief sample size Kirk Cousins Jersey , and none of it actually counted, but there was still plenty to be excited about.The Minnesota Vikings beat the Denver Broncos 42-28 in their 2018 preseason debut on Saturday night. The first teamers on both sides of the ball looked great. A lot of the people on the second and third teams did not look great. And while we’re really not supposed to care much about these small preseason sample sizes, it was hard not to at least get a little excited about what might be to come after last night. So let’s dive into some of the more impactful plays while we keep reminding ourselves that it’s just the preseason.Play 1: Vikings ball, 2nd & 3 at the Denver 31. First quarter, 10:31 remaining. K.Cousins pass deep right to S.Diggs to DEN 3 for 28 yards (B.Roby).A clean pocket. A great pass from the new quarterback. An amazing catch by the newly extended star receiver. I don’t know about you, but I was certainly...excited about this play.Perhaps more importantly, Stefon Diggs and Kirk Cousins followed up this great throw and catch with a touchdown three plays later. Settling for three would have been a letdown on multiple levels, so it was nice to see them finish off the promising drive.Play 2: Broncos ball, 2nd & 7 at the Denver 15. First quarter, 2:59 remaining. (Shotgun) P.Lynch pass short middle intended for A.Traylor INTERCEPTED by A.Harris (J.Tocho) [E.Wilson] at DEN 27. A.Harris to DEN 23 for 4 yards (D.Hamilton).Paxton Lynch made a really good case for Chad Kelly being the QB2 in Denver last night, but this was still a really nice play from the Vikings defense.Eric Wilson timed his blitz perfectly to force an early throw from Lynch. Jack Tocho and Ben Gedeon jumped the route to force the deflection, and Anthony Harris was in the right place at the right time to snatch the interception. There were some definite issues with the reserves—for instance, Tocho was directly involved with both Vikings interceptions and still had a pretty terrible game overall—but the defense was on point to start the game. In fact, the Broncos had actually had more touchdowns (2) than first downs (1) at halftime. (We’ll get to the special teams in a bit.)Play 3: Vikings ball, 2nd & 7 at the Minnesota 22. Second quarter, 5:12 remaining. (Shotgun) T.Siemian pass short left to R.Thomas for 78 yards, TOUCHDOWN.So far in Training Camp, I thought that Mike Boone had the edge in the competition for the third running back spot. And after a couple solid runs by Boone in the first half Adrian Peterson Jersey , my opinion appeared to be justified.But then #VikingsTwitter suddenly turned into #RocNation.Roc Thomas’ second receiving touchdown of the first half was a beauty. Trevor Siemian delivered a nice touch pass with pressure in his face. Aviante Collins did a great job of sealing his man to spring Thomas. Josh Andrews , who didn’t have a great game overall, made a nice hustle play to free up space downfield. And Thomas did the rest.There is still plenty of time for Boone and Mack Brown to make their case, but there was little doubt who made the best first impression in the competition.Play 4: Vikings ball, 4th & 5 at the Minnesota 30. Second quarter, 2:00 remaining. R.Quigley punts 48 yards to DEN 22, Center-K.McDermott. I.McKenzie for 78 yards, TOUCHDOWN. PENALTY on MIN, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced between downs.Let’s call this a “teachable moment” for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer.After Isaiah McKenzie took what seemed like an eternity to pick a lane on this punt return, he finally found one down the left sideline. The blown punt coverage and poor tackling will certainly be addressed in the film room this week.But hey, it wasn’t all bad news with the special teams!Play 5: Vikings ball, 4th & 10 at the Denver 39. Third quarter, 5:55 remaining. D.Carlson 57 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.It is now officially Daniel Carlson’s kicker job to lose.Yes, this 57-yard kick was aided by the Denver altitude. But Carlson’s leg strength has never been in question. His accuracy was much more important; Carlson comfortably made all six of his kicks on Saturday night. Kai Forbath making this team appears to be nearly impossible at the moment.There were a handful of other plays that could have made this list; the back shoulder throw to Stacy Coley John Randle Jersey , the two long runs by Latavius Murray, and both touchdowns from Kyle Sloter come to mind. As we always do with this article, we welcome your input on which of these plays had the most impact in the poll below. If you think we missed a few others that should have been included, please add them in the comments. The Vikings selected 20 year-old tight-end Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama with their 2nd round, 50th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.They had the opportunity to trade down with this pick, per..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Vikings 2018 SeasonVikings 2019 OffseasonU.S. Bank StadiumMinnesota Vikings PodcastsMinnesota Vikings 2019 NFL DraftBreaking Down Irv Smith Jr.New,78commentsCDTShareTweetShareShareBreaking Down Irv Smith Jr.Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY SportsThe Vikings selected 20 year-old tight-end Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama with their 2nd round, 50th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.They had the opportunity to trade down with this pick, per Rick Spielman, but decided Smith was worth making their pick then and there.So let’s take a look at what Smith brings to the Vikings’ table.Versatile Tight-End With Complete Skill SetIrv Smith Jr. MeasurablesIrv Smith brings a full complement of desired skills at the tight end position to the Vikings.He’s a legitimate receiving threat with good speed for a tight end, with after the catch ability as well.He’s also a good blocker, both run and pass.But where he differs some from the prototypical tight end is his build.He’s a smaller tight-end, going about 242 lbs., and is only about 6’2 3/8”. He lined up in 11 different spots at Alabama, and is more of an H-back in this way - and a good compliment to the other tight ends on the Vikings roster.Overall, apart from his 40 time, Smith didn’t test all that well in agility drills.But the surprising thing is you don’t see that show up on tape very much at all.He may not always have tremendous burst to begin his routes, but he’s not the lumbering type of tight-end you often see - his routes are crisp Alan Page Jersey , speedy, and he seems very fluid and with good balance.As a receiver, Smith’s production efficiency at Alabama compares favorably to both Iowa tight ends Fant and Hockenson.His catch rate percentage, yards per route run, and average yards per target were all better, per Pro Football Focus (PFF).In fact, Smith’s yards per route run was tied for best in this year’s tight end class.And last season, Smith was money when targeted.His passer rating when targeted was a whopping 157.7 - best in this year’s TE draft class.Also, for a move or receiving tight-end, Smith grades pretty well.He's down the list overall among tight ends in this draft class, but this includes all the blocking tight ends as well.He has the skill set and promise to improve in this area as well - both pass and run blocking - and most scouting reports commend his blocking ability.Smith is still green in terms of overall experience, which shows up in run-blocking and route-running, but he has plenty of talent and is likely to get much better in both areas. He has combination tight end talent but really flashes as a move blocker at fullback or wingback spots. His buildup speed sets him apart as a big, field-stretching option and once he gets rolling after the catch....Smith offers Pro Bowl potential as a well-rounded tight end prospect.- Lance ZierleinTremendous Scheme FitAs it stands now, Smith is very effective as a move or lead blocker from the fullback or wingback position - which is a little unusual in a receiving tight end.Alabama didn’t run a lot of outside zone plays, but you can see in the game films at the end of this piece that Smith is very effective as a blocker in a variety of situations, but particularly as a run blocker, whether a lead blocker or just handling his assignment in-line or from a wingback spot.A versatile tight-end like Irv Smith is an asset in any scheme Randy Moss Jersey , but his ability to lead block from the backfield while also being a legitimate receiving threat present real difficulties for a defense in Gary Kubiak’s scheme with Vikings personnel.It would not be a surprise to see the Vikings run a lot of double TE sets with Rudolph in-line and Irv Smith lined up as wing-back just off the line of scrimmage, with Dalvin Cook at tailback and Diggs and Thielen outside.With Smith equally adept as a blocker and receiver, the Vikings can run or pass, take advantage of match-up issues, audible, and keep defenses off-balance by effectively disguising the play.At Alabama, Smith lined up in 11 different spots on offense, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Vikings use him in a similar way.Scouting ReportsHere are some summaries of scouting reports on Smith:Scouting FilmAfter Smith’s highlight reel showing off his receiving ability, there are several game tapes of Smith to give you a better idea of his complete skill set, along with how he was used at Alabama. Overall, I didn’t notice many miscues from Smith, apart from one drop and maybe a couple not so great - but not horrible - blocks.On the other hand, you see him make many key blocks consistently throughout the game films, and generally do very well after the catch.
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