When the Minnesota Vikings were entrenched in the 2019 NFL Draft, they were looking for weapons to add on offense. While Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were the main anchors, nobody else stepped up, causing the previous season to go off the rails.
After selecting Garrett Bradbury in the first round, the Vikings took Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. As a dynamic complement to Kyle Rudolph, Smith was supposed to be a missing piece to help revive the Vikings' offense.
But a little over two seasons into his second season, Smith has struggled to make an impact. After Sunday's 27-26 loss to the Seahawks, where Smith had a pair of catches on the opening drive, Smith has totaled six catches for 78 yards and zero touchdowns.
There are several reasons to explain Smith's struggles this season, but it doesn't make the pick look any better. This is especially true when you consider who was drafted after Smith was selected with the 50th overall pick.
The next pick of the board was wide receiver A.J. Brown. The Ole Miss product got off to a slow start for the Titans but turned things on in the final half of his rookie season with 703 yards and five touchdowns in his final eight games.
Fourteen picks after Smith was taken, the Seahawks selected another Ole Miss receiver in D.K. Metcalf, who remains fresh in Minnesotan minds after Sunday night's game in Seattle.
While many teams were scared off by his Pac-Man spider chart, Metcalf has also become an emerging superstar with an absurd 25.2 yards per catch this season, and perhaps you noticed, he torched the Vikings for six catches, 93 yards and two touchdowns, including a 39-yard sideline catch on fourth down to keep Seattle's hopes alive and then the fourth-down catch in the end zone to win it with 15 seconds left.
Going deeper into the draft, the pain for the Vikings doesn't stop. Pittsburgh selected Diontae Johnson 66th overall. Washington took Terry McLaurin 76th overall. Las Vegas drafted Hunter Renfrow 149th overall. The Giants took Darius Slayton 171st overall.
All of these receivers have had a bigger impact on their respective team than Smith has had for the Vikings. Of course, tight ends take notoriously longer to develop than a wide receiver, but the Vikings threw up a red flag when they gave Rudolph a four-year, $36 million extension two months after drafting Smith.
You could argue that things worked out for the Vikings after taking Justin Jefferson in this year's NFL Draft. But the thought of Diggs/Jefferson, Thielen and Brown/Metcalf/McLaurin or (insert wide receiver here) could make Smith a massive whiff in the long run.