Earlier this month, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph made an eye-catching comment when he said he puts himself on the same level as Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski when it comes to the best tight ends in the NFL.
Rudolph made his argument by highlighting his ability as a blocker, but the top tier for tight ends these days is reserved for those who can make an impact as a receiver. Rudolph’s been a solid receiver, but not at the level Graham and Gronkowski have reached and he’s not going to reach it if he isn’t playing at less than 100 percent after breaking his foot last season.
The good news for the Vikings is that Rudolph has declared himself 100 percent healthy and says he’s been running without any problems since February. That will give him plenty of time to get acquainted with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner this offseason.
“Obviously everyone knows the success that Coach Turner has had with tight ends. If you go back all the way back to the Dallas days and Washington, a little bit of time in San Francisco, San Diego, you just look at the tight ends he’s had, I hope to fall in line with that. I’m excited to get into this offense,” Rudolph said, via ESPN.com.
Rudolph’s prospects for a big year definitely get a boost from Turner’s presence, although there’s still the issue of quarterback to settle in Minnesota. The result may not be Graham or Gronk-esque numbers, but a healthy Rudolph should be in line for his biggest receiving season yet all the same.