If you soured on the Minnesota Vikings run-first offense in 2020 or 2021, be prepared for an “urgent” and “uptempo” change of pace.
That’s the prognostication from an unsung source, the Vikings presumptive TE2, Johnny Mundt.
Minnesota’s general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed Mundt in free agency 4.5 months ago, a carryover by new head coach Kevin O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams. Fourth-year breakout prospect Irv Smith will undoubtedly headline the Vikings TE room, but Mundt is the frontrunner to seize TE2 duties as the franchise has not signed a reputable name like Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, Jimmy Graham, or Jared Cook.
Mundt was asked by KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson about the Vikings new offense this week, and he described it with pizazz, “It’s a great marriage of the run and the pass, and some very urgent playcalling. Just an uptempo offense, and it’s going to be very exciting.”
Here’s the full exchange between Mundt and Wolfson:
The urgent and uptempo adjectives are welcome news for Vikings fans. In 2021, Minnesota’s offense, while peppered with roster talent, fell victim to bland stretches of playcalling and ranked third-worst in the NFL three-and-outs. Too often, the Vikings offense would stall or fail to capitalize on marvelous defensive plays. Two games echoed this sentiment against the Baltimore Ravens and the aforementioned Rams when Anthony Barr performed defensive theatrics, only to watch the offense squander the following possession. If Mundt is correct, perhaps those follies are in the past.
Mundt had a commendable first week at Vikings training camp, convincing onlookers he could be “the guy” at TE2. And if he does blossom into a quasi-prominent role, Mundt will make noise arguably for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old has been in the NFL for five years, playing in 47 games — but with just 10 career receptions on his resume. He’s never been targeted in a passing offense more than seven times in a single season.
Vikings enthusiasts have grown accustomed to a hefty TE1-TE2 punch since the addition of Irv Smith to the team. For two years, Kyle Rudolph and Smith split duty in the Vikings aerial attack. Then in 2021, after Rudolph departed in free agency, Tyler Conklin emerged as legitimate TE1 when Smith was lost for the season. Conklin cashed in on the hot-shot 2021 campaign to the tune of $20+ million with the New York Jets in free agency around the time Mundt joined the Vikings.
Now, it’s trending toward The Mundt Show at TE2 — in an offense where he foreshadows uptempo urgency.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).