The Minnesota Vikings were going to revamp their offense anyway this offseason and they began that purge on Wednesday when they released tight end John Carlson after an unproductive season. Carlson’s role increased when starting tight end Kyle Rudolph was lost for the season with a broken foot. This leaves a hole at the second tight end position and with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner using his tight ends a lot in his offense, the draft may be a place where the team can find a replacement.
The team wouldn’t be taking one in the first round so that would take North Carolina’s Eric Ebron and Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro out of the picture probably. The third or fourth round will likely be the place where the Vikings look for another tight end and that opens up the possibility of Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz. He wasn’t a huge pass catcher for the Hawkeyes with just 91 career receptions and just 30 last season but he had six touchdowns over those 30 catches. He is also a tall, athletic receiver at 6-7.
He played his high school football in Illinois and was used as a wide receiver a lot there so the receiving chops are there. The question will be whether or not the Vikings want to use a pick on a player like Fiedorowicz. Rudolph should be back 100% from his foot injury but it would be smart for Minnesota to look for a young backup who could step right in and take over. Also, let’s not forget that the neighboring Green Bay Packers could be looking at a tight end with injuries at that position so grabbing Fiedorowicz would keep him away from the rivals and having to face a Jimmy Graham-like player for years to come.
The tight ends in the draft should be licking their chops hoping that the Vikings take them to be part of Turner’s offense. Jordan Cameron blossomed last season under Turner with the Cleveland Browns. There is no reason not to believe that another tight end can’t become a star under Turner in Minnesota. If the Vikings are looking big picture, Fiedorowicz could be a great answer at tight end.