When the Minnesota Vikings drafted Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette, it didn’t generate a whole lot of buzz. However, it appears that the rookie is already making an impression on his new coaches.
Per Paul Allen this morning on KFAN:— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) June 11, 2021
Certain individuals with the team believe #Vikings rookie WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette has “untapped talent” and “he’s being given every opportunity to win the WR3 spot.”
Per Sean Borman over at Vikings Territory, none other than Paul Allen himself said on his radio show on Friday that Smith-Marsette is “being given every opportunity to win the WR3 spot.” That might come as a bit of a surprise to guys like Chad Beebe and Bisi Johnson who have been with the team for a while and are likely competing for that spot as well.
One guy that likely isn’t surprised by such a development is our friend Brett Kollman, who used to run the Houston Texans site here at SB Nation and now has a highly popular YouTube channel where he does a lot of film breakdowns. He was calling Smith-Marsette as the Vikings’ WR3 this season the day the pick was made.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette will be the Vikings WR3 and get significant snaps by the time we get to October. Incredible value. Absolutely LOVE him.— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) May 1, 2021
Now, as we’ve said numerous times in the past, the WR3 spot for the Vikings is generally not one that is a huge concern based on the type of offense the Vikings have been running in recent years. They favor having multiple tight ends on the field and, if memory serves me correctly, ran fewer three-wide sets last year than any team in the league. If it wasn’t the fewest, it was pretty close to the fewest. That seems to bode significantly better for Irv Smith, Jr., and Tyler Conklin than it would for a player like Smith-Marsette.
Still, perhaps he’s the kind of player that can force the Vikings to change up the offense a bit in order to get him on the field. After all, we don’t know for sure what Kubiak the Younger is going to do with the Vikings’ offense in 2021. Maybe there will be more three-wide sets and more spreading out of defenses than we’ve seen over the past few years.
With this news, I’m pretty excited to see what Ihmir Smith-Marsette can do for the Vikings once they get out onto the field for Training Camp this year. Someone needs to step up and grab that third wide receiver spot behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, and he appears to have at least as good a chance as anyone else.