After years of having a strong defense and underwhelming offense, the roles have reversed for the Minnesota Vikings. In the last two years, their offense has really taken off while the defense has taken a few steps backward.
Kirk Cousins has thrived with Justin Jefferson quickly emerging as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL during his first two seasons in the league. Adam Thielen is a good No. 2 and K.J. Osborn looks like a strong No. 3.
The offensive is buoyed by Dalvin Cook at the running back position and whenever he is sidelined, they are in good hands with Alexander Mattison as his backup. If there is one position that the team could use a little help at, it is the tight end spot.
Last season Tyler Conklin came up big at the position for the Vikings. He appeared in all 17 games, starting 15 of them. He caught 61 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns, stepping up following the knee injury that Irv Smith Jr. suffered in the preseason.
Conklin moved on in free agency, however, signing a deal with the New York Jets. That is going to put a lot of pressure on Smith to return healthy and produce right away. Minnesota could look into bringing some more insurance aboard behind him and Eric Ebron would make for an intriguing target.
Ebron is no longer the uber-athletic, matchup nightmare that he once was earlier in his career. He is coming off of an injury of his own, but he would provide the Vikings with a steady veteran behind Smith should he not be able to return to form.
Despite some shortcomings, such as his penchant for dropping passes, he would be a sizable upgrade as the No. 2 tight end on this depth chart. While his athleticism has waned, Ebron still possesses great size to be a factor in the red zone, standing 6’4” and weighing 253 pounds.
If healthy, he could add another dimension to the team’s offense. Two tight end sets could become prevalent as Smith and Ebron can both present mismatches in different areas of the field.
Ebron wouldn’t be relied upon as a go-to target in Minnesota, which fits well for this stage of his career. He can be a complementary piece with the ability to do more should the need arise.