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

fe15b2761b1839df4cd5d855c9642074 Getty Images

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.

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47 Responses to “Kyle Rudolph: I’d put myself right up there with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski”
  1. FlashPatterson says: Apr 2, 2014 5:38 PM

    Based on what Kyle? How about we see your talent this year instead of hearing about it.

  2. jhein23 says: Apr 2, 2014 5:39 PM

    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.

  3. ravenswhat says: Apr 2, 2014 5:40 PM

    Not even top 10.

  4. grimreaper12 says: Apr 2, 2014 5:45 PM

    Better than Denis Pitta.
    Not on Gronkowski/Davis level though, not even close.

  5. craniator says: Apr 2, 2014 5:47 PM

    Actually , he IS like Gronkowski . . . Chris Gronkowski.

  6. hauts81 says: Apr 2, 2014 5:49 PM

    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.

  7. berniemadoffsides says: Apr 2, 2014 5:55 PM

    He’s going to get traded to the Giants… mark my words.

  8. nygmann says: Apr 2, 2014 5:57 PM

    Oh really? You are not even good enough for Fantasy Football let alone the real deal!

  9. shadowoflambeau311 says: Apr 2, 2014 5:59 PM

    Viking fans on here agree with him.

  10. rodh32340 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:06 PM

    Whatchu talkin’ bout Kyle?!

  11. babych99 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:13 PM

    Get the man a half decent QB and then we’ll see how good he really can be.

  12. purpleguy says: Apr 2, 2014 6:17 PM

    Not until he gets a QB he isn’t.

  13. cguy7 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:18 PM

    No wheels.

  14. edenprairieballer says: Apr 2, 2014 6:18 PM

    He had freaking Christian Ponder throwing him the ball. The one game he had a good quarterback he was MVP of the Pro Bowl

  15. gergie1957 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:30 PM

    Kyle will be able to prove himself this year, Any QB the Viking put on the field will be an improvement, Then we’ll talk money.

  16. twinfan24 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:38 PM

    Give him a decent QB and he might be.

  17. billbrasky72 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:39 PM

    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.

  18. flannlv says: Apr 2, 2014 6:42 PM

    If you’re unavailable, how good are you?

  19. krustylaugh says: Apr 2, 2014 6:46 PM

    Hope hes talking about Garrett Graham and Chris Gronkowski

  20. vik3z says: Apr 2, 2014 6:50 PM

    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.

  21. bkunza says: Apr 2, 2014 6:51 PM

    He’s real good he just needs to stay on the field. He gets hurt a lot.

  22. lordrahl121281 says: Apr 2, 2014 6:52 PM

    You talk a big game, Now play a big game.

  23. 702vikes says: Apr 2, 2014 6:54 PM

    this guy is a beast he will have a career year under norv and zimmer, watch

  24. krisneel says: Apr 2, 2014 7:12 PM

    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.

  25. mediasloppy says: Apr 2, 2014 7:17 PM

    He’s big, strong and has good hands. His lack of speed is what hurts him if he wants to compare himself to those guys.

  26. fwippel says: Apr 2, 2014 7:19 PM

    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.

  27. darkneptune73 says: Apr 2, 2014 7:27 PM

    Drew Brees loved throwing him the ball at the 2013 Pro Bowl so obviously Rudolph has something in him…

  28. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Apr 2, 2014 7:40 PM

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

  29. sweetnlow44 says: Apr 2, 2014 7:45 PM

    He’s closer to a Zac Miller. Great hands, good blocker, slow as crap, and injury prone.

  30. bcajun says: Apr 2, 2014 7:48 PM

    Hope he knows April Fools Day was yesterday

  31. youngs79 says: Apr 2, 2014 8:08 PM

    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.

  32. haassauce21 says: Apr 2, 2014 8:08 PM

    He needs a better QB and then I’m sure he’ll be up there.

  33. wafflestomp says: Apr 2, 2014 8:12 PM

    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.

  34. packerenglishmajor says: Apr 2, 2014 8:13 PM

    Musgrave’s note card didn’t have room for any T/E plays.

  35. axespray says: Apr 2, 2014 8:18 PM

    lol – he’s not even the best tight end in his division.

  36. qdog112 says: Apr 2, 2014 8:26 PM

    You’d better put yourself up there, because nobody else will.

  37. anonymous135 says: Apr 2, 2014 8:42 PM

    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.

  38. hansenbrothers says: Apr 2, 2014 9:00 PM

    It’s hard to tell where he’s really out without an NFL QB throwing to him

  39. irishfan82 says: Apr 3, 2014 8:00 AM

    Huge year coming for Kyle! Sign him now because after the year he will have under Turner he will get very expensive!

  40. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 3, 2014 8:15 AM

    Gronk and Graham wouldn’t be nearly as effective if they spent their entire career embracing the suck like Kyle.

  41. dwhcic says: Apr 3, 2014 1:11 PM

    Top 3 TEs in the NFL:

    1. Kyle Rudolph
    2. Gronk
    3. Graham

    In that order. SKOL!

  42. luvmnsports2012 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:18 PM

    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!!

  43. rickytheviking says: Apr 3, 2014 4:11 PM

    Rudolph is a beast

    He will have a break out year in 2014

  44. 2ruefan says: Apr 3, 2014 4:32 PM

    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.

  45. sulkaman says: Apr 3, 2014 8:40 PM

    Sorry but those guys are ahead of you as is Cameron Jordan from Cleveland.

  46. sulkaman says: Apr 3, 2014 8:41 PM

    Correction typing fast: Jordan Cameron.

  47. bobnelsonjr says: Apr 3, 2014 8:57 PM

    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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