I have some interest in Irv Smith. He’s not as heralded as the other second-year tight ends (T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant) but he has some of the same selling points.

The Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs, so they’re going to need others to play a bigger role in the passing game. Adam Thielen will be their No. 1 option, but they’ll need some others to be involved. Smith should be one of those guys.

Minnesota also has Kyle Rudolph at tight end, of course. But I think they’ll use two tight ends on most downs, and Smith has good receiving ability. He came on some last year. After a slow start in his first five games, he caught 30 passes in his next 10.

Picking through the historical numbers, I see the trends are pretty good for second-year tight ends who catch 30-40 passes as rookies (so this is one that applies not only to Smith but also Fant and Hockenson).

Of the last 30 tight ends to catch 30-40 passes as rookies, 70 percent of them ranked higher (using PPR scoring) in their second season. Over half (16) of these 30 tight ends ranked in the top-10 in their second year (cumulative scoring, using PPR scoring). Of those 16, all but three were players who didn’t rank in the top 10 in their first year.

I’m not advertising Irv Smith as a player who should be starting for your team in a fantasy league. But he makes sense as a late-round pick in a reserve role. Some chance he develops into something serviceable.

In the chart below, the tight ends who got worst (using PPR scoring) are tagged with black dots. Three of them are guys who hardly played at all because of injuries (Eifert, Amaro, Herndon). Two others served mainly as backups (Shea, Thomas).

1988Ferrell Edmunds, Mia.33-575-332-382-3-18%
1990Eric Green, Pitt.34-387-741-582-618%
1994• Andrew Jordan, Min.35-336-027-185-2-19%
1996Rickey Dudley, Oak.34-386-448-787-775%
1997Tony Gonzalez, K.C.33-368-259-621-259%
1998• Stephen Alexander, Was.37-383-429-324-3-20%
2000Bubba Franks, G.B.34-363-136-322-960%
2000• Aaron Shea, Cle.30-302-214-86-0-69%
2001• Eric Johnson, S.F.40-362-336-321-0-29%
2002Randy McMichael, Mia.39-485-449-598-313%
2002• Doug Jolley, Oak.32-409-231-250-1-27%
2003Jason Witten, Dall.35-347-187-980-6195%
2004Ben Troupe, Ten.33-329-155-530-484%
2004Chris Cooley, Was.37-314-671-774-782%
2005Bo Scaife, Ten.37-273-229-370-312%
2005Heath Miller, Pitt.39-459-634-393-5-15%
2006Owen Daniels, Hou.34-352-563-768-359%
2007Greg Olsen, Chi.39-391-254-574-554%
2009Brandon Pettigrew, Det.30-346-271-722-4118%
2010Jimmy Graham, N.O.31-356-599-1310-11205%
2013Zach Ertz, Phil.36-469-458-702-337%
2013Mychal Rivera, Oak.38-407-458-534-432%
2013• Tyler Eifert, Cin.39-445-23-37-0-93%
2014• Jace Amaro, NYJ38-345-2DNP-100%
2016Hunter Henry, S.D.36-478-845-579-4-4%
2017David Njoku, Cle.32-386-456-639-452%
2018Mark Andrews, Balt.34-552-364-852-1095%
2018Dallas Goedert, Phil.33-334-458-607-564%
2018• Ian Thomas, Car.36-333-216-136-1-56%
2018• Chris Herndon, NYJ39-502-41-7-0-98%
2019Noah Fant, Den.40-562-3?-?-??
2019Irv Smith, Min.36-311-2?-?-??
2019T.J. Hockenson, Det.32-367-2?-?-??
2019Kaden Smith, NYG31-268-3?-?-??

—Ian Allan