Kyle Rudolph: I’d put myself right up there with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski

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Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph doesn’t put up the big receiving numbers we’re become used to seeing at the position in recent years, although his efforts in 2012 were enough to get him to the Pro Bowl.

Rudolph is entering the final year of his rookie contract and he said Wednesday that he’d like to sign an extension with the team this offseason. Rudolph made his argument by comparing himself to the top players at the position while pointing out that there’s more to the job than catching passes.

“There’s a ton of talented tight ends in our game,” Rudolph said, via the Pioneer Press. “You have guys that play at a high level, like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis. But I would put myself up there with them. I feel as a tight end, it’s extremely important to be a guy that can contribute in the running game and also in the passing game.”

While the desire for the security of an extension is obvious, Rudolph might be in better position after next season. He’s coming off a foot injury that limited him to eight games last season and the arrival of Norv Turner as offensive coordinator could lead to new highs in the passing game if Rudolph plays a full season.

47 responses to “Kyle Rudolph: I’d put myself right up there with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski

  1. Is he serious? The few times I’ve seen him play he is a complete stiff in the passing game. The entire Vikings team and their fan base always seem to have a much higher opinion of their true talents than the rest of the NFL. Greg Jennings thinks he’s equal to his good friend Larry Fitzgerald.

  2. Bill Musgrave’s offense didn’t make anyone in the passing game look good. I’m anxious to see what Norv can do with Rudolph. I think he can be a very good TE but I don’t think he has the athleticism to be as versatile as guys like Gronk and Graham.

  3. He doesn’t have the elite speed of some of the top shelf TE’s like Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis, but he has better hands and is a better blocker.

  4. hes getting a little ahead of himself. hes nowhere close to those guys athletically, but id argue his hands are as good if not better than any of them. still doesnt make him on there level, Kyle is a borderline top 10 TE at this point in his career.

  5. I’ve seen this guy at times make some Gronk type of plays. If he can have a good qb he I feel like he can flourish into a top 5 catching TE.

  6. The only difference is that Graham and Gronkowski have Brees and Brady throwing them the ball. Get Rudolph an elite QB and he’ll be elite.

    Name an elite TE over the last 50 years who didn’t have an elite QB throwing him the ball. Mackey had Unitas, Ditka had Staubach, Casper had Stabler, Winslow had Fouts, etc. Other than Shannon Sharpe I can’t name one.

  7. Yeah Kyle….and Christian Ponder would put himself right up there with Aaron Rodgers.

  8. People settle down! He is in a contract year and what is he supposed to say?… I’m terrible and want to sign for less money.

  9. Well, he’s certainly got the ego of a Jermichael Finley!

    And enough with the “If he only had a great QB throwing to him.” talk.
    He doesn’t. But with the stacked roster like the Vikes, (Trust me, just listen to their fans talk.) he should have no problem putting up better than the pedestrian stats he’s shown so far.

    It’s year 4, we’ll see.

  10. great redzone target, massive wing span with big mitts. I think he caught most of what was thrown but Ponder didn’t give him many consistent targets.

    top 15 te.. no more. With Cassel and Turner, could be top 10 pass/run block te… but too slow to be compared with whom he had.

  11. Haters! Dudes a beast! Catch anything thrown his way, good blocker, big build, just not too fast! Don’t need him for speed. He puts up numbers like that with Ponder, why could he do with a good QB! SKOL VIKES!!

  12. I’m continually amazed at how little many followers of PFT actually seem to WATCH football, and pay attention to anything but a Team’s record.

    If you watched Rudolph at all in 2o12 (the reason he made the pro-bowl) you would have seen WHY he made that statement.

    Anybody saying he is a “stiff” in the passing game, simply doesn’t watch football. Actually has GREAT hands, and GREAT movement.

    With PONDER at the helm he had 53 receptions and 9 Touchdowns.

    TIED with Graham (who was targeted 40 more times BTW) and only 2 less TDs than Gronkowski who was getting his passes from a Hall of Fame QB.

  13. Big talk before the season by a viking.
    Happens EVERY offseason with the vikings.

    After 50+ times of off season boasting never occurring, they would get tired of being laughed at.

    Decades ago Gary Larson #77 wore #140 in training camp because the vikings had gone 7-7 the year before.

    Chris Hovan hanging a Brett Favre jersey in his locker to motivate him to get “lots of sacks on him.” Yet no sack, no knockdown, not even a touch.

    Onterio Smith called himself the steal of the draft but became known as the Whizzinator.

    Ray Edwards one offseason boasted he would break the sack record in the upcoming season and got 8.

    Adrian Peterson and his 2500 yard rushing boast that didn’t happen.

    Offseason ticket sales advertizing claiming it is their year and they are going to the Super Bowl.

    Why didn’t he say something simpler like he would like to be the starter for the majority of the season? Only one of his season’s did he do that.

    It would be better if he said he wanted to increase the number of his tackles from last season.

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