More often than not lately, the Vikings draft a fifth-round wide receiver.
That's what general manager Rick Spielman did again Saturday, for the fourth time in the last seven years, when selecting ex-Iowa Hawkeyes receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette with the 157th overall pick.
Smith-Marsette is also an experienced kick returner, showing off his versatility when he scored touchdowns via rushing, receiving, and kickoff return in the 2019 Holiday Bowl. He finished his Hawkeyes career with 1,889 yards from scrimmage, including 274 rushing, and 18 touchdowns.
The Vikings later added tight end Zach Davidson, who was also an effective punter for Central Missouri. Davidson (6-7, 245 pounds) had a breakout year at tight end in 2019, his last year playing for CMU, when he caught 15 touchdowns in 13 games.
Davidson also averaged over 40 yards per punt in college, including a career-high 44.3-yard average as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
The Vikings kicked off Saturday by selecting running back/kick returner Kene Nwangwu out of Iowa St., safety Camryn Bynum from Cal, and defensive end Janarius Robinson from Florida St. in the fourth round.
Spielman had an eye on special teams when making many of the Vikings' late-round picks, as Nwangwu, Bynum, Smith-Marsette, and Davidson provide additional experience in the coverage, kicking or return phases.