The Vikings keep adding more pieces to their struggling offense.

With the 201st overall pick they selected Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges.

He is a big target at 6’6,” 260 pounds and could become a red zone threat right away.

Hodges can be a red zone matchup weapon for a offense that struggled to put the ball in the paint last year. –Mark Dulgerian (NFL.com)

He is a converted quarterback and earned USA Today Freshman All-American honors in 2014. He was second-team All-ACC in 2015 and a third-team selection last season. In three seasons, he caught 133 passes for 1,747 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Kyle Rudolph is coming off his best season, but he would certainly benefit with having a nice pass catching tight end to help him out. The Vikings lost Rhett Ellison to the New York Giants. Ellison though was used more for his blocking.

Hodges is not a very good blocker, but the Vikings have fellow tight end David Morgan, who is.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

Outstanding combination of size and athleticism for the position. Smooth glider around the field. Runs fast and plays fast. Long target with extended catch radius. Can get up and over the top of most defenders at the high point. Willing to work over the middle and has the frame for it. Spent time at all receiver spots and could be an option from the slot as well as outside as a pro. Seam-beater who can get over top of linebackers and work all three levels of the field. Saw 28 percent of his catches go for 20-plus yards in 2016. Can access a second gear out of route stems. Once he stacks defender on his hip, he wins. Excellent ball tracker with second gear and hand usage for late separation down the field. Former quarterback with valuable knowledge of coverages. Will demand additional attention if covered by a cornerback near goal line. Shows strength to overwhelm defensive backs as a blocker.

WEAKNESSES

Has played the position just three seasons and still has much to learn. Long strider who can be put into neutral by a physical jam from press. Too nonchalant along his routes. Needs to hit route landmarks more quickly to give quarterback a timely, presentable target. Defaults into running through defender rather than effectively adjusting routes. Throws beat him up at times this season. Struggled to finish challenging catches. Lower percentage of clean catches trapping throws against his body and double catching it. Athletic but takes awhile to access acceleration after catch and may not be the “YAC” people expect. May lack power and toughness to be a reliable in-line option as a blocker. (NFL.com)

Hodges likely will not see much action this year, but in red zone situations he could get his opportunities. The Vikings know they need all the help they can get on offense and even if Hodges is only needed sparingly, they will certainly love to add him to the mix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xANXGTJRQMQ

You can follow Ali Siddiqui on Twitter @asiddiqui15 and @SPOT_Vikings for Vikings news and updates.

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