Kyle Rudolph thinks people still underrate Kyle Rudolph

AP

Two years ago, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said he’d put himself “up there with anyone” when it comes to ranking the league’s best tight ends.

Rudolph’s feelings haven’t changed.

When Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press asked Rudolph if he still considers himself the league’s best tight end, Rudolph not only had his answer ready but also had an explanation.

Absolutely,” Rudolph said. “Route running and catching balls, to many, is all that matters. But it’s also [about] being one of the best blockers, one of the best pass protectors.

“The world revolves around fantasy football. That’s just the nature of sports right now, and that’s just the way it is. But I know that when I come to work every Monday, and I [watch] the film, I may have only caught two balls, but if I did my job in the run game and pass protection, [Vikings coach Mike Zimmer] is going to be happy.”

Rudolph knows his 2015 numbers — 49 catches, a career-high 495 yards — aren’t in the same galaxy as those Rob Gronkowski and other tight ends put up around the pass-happy NFL. And at the same time he was essentially saying “watch the tape,” he was also dropping a hint that he’d like to surpass his career highs in receptions (53 in 2012) and touchdowns (nine, also in 2012) in 2016.

“I want to have the best season that I’ve had as a Viking,” Rudolph said. “It’s no secret we need to become more balanced, and I think I play a part in that.”

57 responses to “Kyle Rudolph thinks people still underrate Kyle Rudolph

  1. Rudolph is right. He is underrated — by the press, by many fans, and even in fantasy. He’s a pretty darned good football player when healthy.

  2. I’m no Vikes fan but before you tee off about Rudolph’s opinion of himself ask yourself whether you’d want your team’s starting tight end to think any differently.

  3. Players and fans of their team often think a lot of said player’s ability. Take for example Eddie Lacy last year. All year Lacy was insisting he was in shape and just naturally big and Packer fans denied most season that Lacy was fat. It was not until the end of the year that they could no longer deny the obvious. These types of opinions are natural.

  4. I can’t knock his confidence, but he’s merely a serviceable TE. Not great, but decent.

  5. “But it’s also [about] being one of the best blockers, one of the best pass protectors.”

    “I may have only caught two balls, but if I did my job in the run game and pass protection, [Vikings coach Mike Zimmer] is going to be happy.”

    “It’s no secret we need to become more balanced, and I think I play a part in that.”

    The only way Rudolph could possibly have taken a more direct shot at Purple Jesus would have been to call him out by name.

  6. He is getting paid like and NFL great TE.
    With BIG payments come BIG expectations from fans. Myself included.

    Fans sometimes get tired of the refrain every year.

    “This year is going to be his big year.”

  7. All I know is that I wish we had a TE like Rudolph instead of these useless bums Ted keeps bringing in. He would definitely open up the offense and keep up from being so predictable with low risk short throws and YAC and then long, low risk throws. We are so predictable and have a total lack of weapons at every position except QB. Thanks Ted!

  8. Spoken like a true pro bowl MVP.

    The dude doesn’t have more than 500 re yards in a season and has more than 50 catches once in his career.

    I think the Vikings were expecting more when they drates him early in the 2nd round.

  9. arealisticpackerfan says:
    Jun 23, 2016 6:58 PM
    All I know is that I wish we had a TE like Rudolph instead of these useless bums Ted keeps bringing in. He would definitely open up the offense and keep up from being so predictable with low risk short throws and YAC and then long, low risk throws. We are so predictable and have a total lack of weapons at every position except QB. Thanks Ted!

    49 catches, 495 yards, 5 TDs

    —————————————————————-

    If that production was what was needed to open the offense last year – I guess R Rodgers was too much to handle as he had

    58 catches, 510 yards, 8 TDs

    Packers should have toned him down some so they could open up the offense with more Kyle-esque play.

  10. Bears fan here. Rudolph is the best TE in his division and by quite a ways. If he had a decent QB nobody would be underrating him.

  11. There are many good tight ends in the NFL, there is only one best tight end and he may be the best tight end in NFL history.

  12. Also tough for him because connecting on a highlights worthy high five with Bridgewater is like trying to land a 747 on a postage stamp.

  13. Rudolph is right. If he played with Tom Brady, he be the number one fantasy tight end. He’d be just as productive as Gronk. If Gronk played on The Vikings, we wouldn’t even be calling him “Gronk”. His name would be Rob Gronkowski, and he’d be spending a lot more time blocking for Adrian Peterson.

  14. chuckshontaspads says:
    Jun 23, 2016 7:35 PM

    There are many good tight ends in the NFL, there is only one best tight end and he may be the best tight end in NFL history.
    ***********************************8
    You might be right but Mike Ditka played just like Gronk. But do remember the first year Brady and Randy Moss played together? Moss was well passed his prime and he shattered NFL records. We judge the GOATS based a lot on stats, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Randy Moss would be a unanimous GOAT if he played with Brady his entire career.

  15. I’m a Bengals fan and love Tyler Eifort, but the people that rip on Gronk apparently haven’t watched him that much, because he is amazing. Kyle Rudolph not so much.

  16. i remember when Teddy dropped a dime onto Rudolph right over a cheesehead for a touchdown last year!! i also remember when najeh davenport dropped something of his own in that girl’s closet!!??

  17. All I know is that I wish we had a TE like Rudolph instead of these useless bums Ted keeps bringing in.
    ——–
    Those “bums” put up much better numbers than Rudolph last year Mr troll.

  18. He’s subversively calling out Tinyhands. (Read: “I’m the closest guy to the line of scrimmage. Dink and dunk Teddy should be able to find me if he only knew how to go through his professions. I mean progression. “)

  19. I’m not a coach, but it seems when Rudolph does catch a pass the QB has to thread the needle to get it in. I don’t think he’s fast enough to consistently get open. He’s money in the red zone though.

    His blocking and attitude are great. He isn’t exactly humble but I do believe he’s a team guy. Just do not see Kyle Rudolph catching 80 passes a year.

  20. People had very high expectations of Kyle when Norv Turner became the offensive coordinator. He was being set up to fail. It’s too bad, because he is one hell of a tight end.

  21. I like his confidence and his ability; however, he’s yet to prove he is elite. That pass that hit him square in the hands that he dropped in the end zone in last year’s Raider’s game keeps popping into my head.

  22. The Vikings offense will open up this year. AP will have to adjust. Rudolph will benefit from it and he is capable of becoming elite. Nobody in the central division can match up with him.

  23. Rudolph isn’t underrated as a player on field. His abilities far exceed his play to date, people mistake his ceiling as having been reached. It has not been, he has at least 30% better stats than his best to date in him. Injuries, bad luck, and circumstance might prevent that from actually happening, but this is absolute fact, and given the right chance perhaps he might show it sometime before retirement.

  24. Now Rudolph, isn’t a bad player at all. Indeed, if the Broncos traded for him, i’d be quite happy. But for him to “put himself up there with anyone” Is he actually thinking he’s one of the top 5 tight ends in the league.
    Gronkowski, is the gold standard tight end in the league. There is a huge drop off then. I’m a Broncos fan, and can’t stand the Patriots, bur that is just a fact. Gronkowski is on pace to have the best stats of any tight end ever. He is going to the hall one day.
    Greg Olsen,Jordan Reed,Martellus Bennett,Jimmy Graham,Travis Kelce,Delanie Walker,Zach Ertz and Jason Witten are all better too.

  25. stoneydog1000 says:
    Jun 23, 2016 8:16 PM
    I’m a Bengals fan and love Tyler Eifort, but the people that rip on Gronk apparently haven’t watched him that much, because he is amazing. Kyle Rudolph not so much.
    —————
    Totally agree. Broncos fan, and thus dislike the Patriots, but if you look at the #1 player and the #2 player at every position. Tight End is the one with the biggest gap. There isn’t a tight end in the league close to him. Look at Denvers defense last year. He got what, 3 tds against them and looked a threat all the time. Oh, end note…Eifert is an awesome TE needs to stay a little more healthy though.

  26. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    Jun 23, 2016 6:46 PM

    “But it’s also [about] being one of the best blockers, one of the best pass protectors.”

    “I may have only caught two balls, but if I did my job in the run game and pass protection, [Vikings coach Mike Zimmer] is going to be happy.”

    “It’s no secret we need to become more balanced, and I think I play a part in that.”

    The only way Rudolph could possibly have taken a more direct shot at Purple Jesus would have been to call him out by name.

    ——————————————————

    Funny how you come to that conclusion. Here I was thinking he was talking about what it takes to be a complete TE…I mean, you completely omitted the first part of that first quote where he talks about the perception of yards and receptions making up the entirety of a TE’s worth with no regard as to how well he does the other half of his job. Apparently it’s being confirmed all through the comments thread because the only thing anyone seems to be interested in talking about is his raw numbers.

    As to the team needing to be more balanced, that’s no secret. He’s not the only one saying that. When it was clear that APs and TBs strengths did not mesh after the 49ers game, the OC choose to go with the RB. Obviously the organization agrees with Rudolph’s sentiment as they have spent the offseason looking to address the balance issue (hiring new offensive coaches, O-Line additions, drafting WRs). Whether or not they will have a positive effect is unknown.

    I suppose they’ll post anything during this time of year to keep us clicking without any training camps or player arrests to talk about. At least I got the CFL to hold me over now.

  27. He’s a good tight end but defenses have figured out that you only need to cover him in the first five yards off the line of scrimmage. First of all, he doesn’t have the speed to get open after that but more to the point, Bridgewater can’t throw that far with any level of accuracy. If Rudolph wants to post bigger numbers, he’ll need a new QB.

  28. While I like Rudolph’s attitude, the reality is that he needs to prove it on the field. He dropped at least two touchdowns last year, and his most memorable play of the season was his catch and run to set up what should have been the game winning FG against Seattle.

    He’s being paid like an elite tight end. With a revamped (and hopefully much improved) offensive line, this is an important year for Rudolph. Honestly, I was more impressed with MyCole Pruitt last year than Rudolph. If Pruitt keeps improving, and Rudolph has another year like last year, I could see Rudolph being asked to take a pay cut after 2016.

  29. I like the kid, but to date he hasn’t shown consistency at the position or the ability to stay healthy. When he does that, I’ll be more inclined to agree with his self assessment. He has the tools, but so far hasn’t taken advantage of them.

  30. lingsun54 says:
    Jun 23, 2016 8:41 PM

    Kyle Rudolph isn’t that great. He averages 3.0 catches per game in a good year.

    ————————————————–

    Look, I’m not on board the shut your mouth, or the he is underrated train, but how much of the above is his fault? The Vikings are a run first team, as evidenced by AP winning the rushing title last year.

  31. As a Viking fan, I have watched Rudolph his entire career. I don’t believe he’s underrated at all. He’s a decent TE. He does block very well downfield off the LOS. However, on the LOS he has his difficulties.

    He’s an inconsistent route runner that often has trouble gaining separation. He’s also inconsistent when it comes to pass catching. He’s had his share of drops. I will say, he looked very good toward the end of the season last year and hopefully the route running and drops were because of playing with some type of injury.

    I personally liked Chase Ford better as an all around TE. I don’t know how his injury from last year has affected him but he has been signed and dropped by three teams since then. Hopefully Rudolph can start playing like he is capable (as good as he says he is) this year. If the OLine does their job he should be able to prove it since Teddy likes to go to his TE.

  32. Packer trolls,

    A. amused by Lazer lights
    B. easily fleeced with fake stock sales
    C. mesmerized by shiny objects in water
    D. all of the above

  33. He has the talent, but cant stay healthy. Produce on the field and people will rate you accordingly. I hope he puts it all together this season as Teddy loves him in the Redzone.

  34. ive always thought this guy was good when i watch the Vikings. hes definitely underrated.

  35. A lot of people blaming Rudolph’s lack of production on Teddy, but does anyone remember the TWO (not one, but two) dropped passes in the end zone last year that hit him right in the hands?

    His main problem is the offensive line was so bad last year that he had to stay in to block most of the time instead of going out on pass routes. Give Teddy a little protection and Rudolph will see plenty of opportunities. All he has to do is catch them.

  36. chuckshontaspads says:
    Jun 23, 2016 7:35 PM

    There are many good tight ends in the NFL, there is only one best tight end and he may be the best tight end in NFL history.
    =========================================

    I hate to break it to you, but Tony Gonzalez has been retired for several years now.

  37. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jun 24, 2016 11:37 AM
    His main problem is the offensive line was so bad last year that he had to stay in to block most of the time instead of going out on pass routes.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////

    This is simply not true. The Viking O-line finished the season ranked 14th (Pass #16, Run #7.) Denver 20th, New England 25th, and Seattle 30th.

    We know you’re trying to convince yourself Bridgewater is “The Man,” but love hurts. And Rudolph needs to get his name known outside on Minneapolis before he starts giving himself killer nicknames.

  38. When Kyle started out he looked amazing for a young player. For whatever reason he has not fulfilled Vikings fan’s dreams of becoming the next Tony Gonzales or Gronk yet, but our fans here still appreciate how good he truly is. He is a extremely good Tight End who can do a lot for a team in may ways during the game. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be ready to call for him to be in the Hall of Fame yet, but he is a great asset on our team and I am glad he is right here on our Vikes team.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!