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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Free agent TE Trey Burton is what the Vikings have been looking for

By Matthew Coller

Last year it was Bucky Hodges. In 2015, it was MyCole Pruitt. And there was also Kyle Carter.

The Minnesota Vikings have been on the hunt for a tight end who could stretch the field and create mismatches with slower linebackers or smaller safeties.

Hodges, who ran a 4.57 40-yard dash, was cut before the start of the season. Pruitt (4.58 forty) was relegated to the practice squad by his second year and was signed by the Bears. He’s bounced around since then. And Carter, who ran a 4.62, saw the field sparingly after being bumped up from the practice squad and then was released.

As the Vikings look to stack up their roster to take another run at the NFC, they might consider Philadelphia Eagles free agent tight end Trey Burton, who will reportedly not be returning to The City of Brotherly Love.

Last season, Burton played the role of No. 2 tight end behind star Zach Ertz. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, who ran a 4.62 40-yard dash coming out of Florida, made 23 catches on 30 targets and scored five touchdowns. In two games filling in as the starter for Ertz, he caught nine passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

Burton’s best game (five catches for 71 yards) came against the Los Angeles Rams in matchup with playoff implications.

Per Pro Football Focus, here’s how Burton compared to other tight ends:

On this touchdown pass from Carson Wentz, you can see Burton’s quickness off the line of scrimmage as he creates separation from safety John Johnson. Burton also makes an adjustment to the ball and takes contact from the linebacker in the end zone.

The Vikings already have a good situation at tight end with Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan. Last season, Rudolph caught 57 passes and scored eight touchdowns while Morgan rated as one of the NFL’s best run blocking tight ends and made 10 receptions.

One thing Minnesota and Philadelphia both did well in 2017 was created mismatches by using multiple tight ends. Adding Burton would allow for two receiver, two tight end personnel to be used on a consistent basis, forcing opposing defenses to decide whether they wanted to bring in three linebackers to defend Dalvin Cook and the run or two linebackers and risk the Vikings running over them.

There will be plenty of competition for Burton, so his price might end up being higher than most No. 2 tight ends on the market, but it’s possible his connection to new Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo could give Minnesota an edge.

The post Free agent TE Trey Burton is what the Vikings have been looking for appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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