The guy who once was named the Pro Bowl MVP could be heading for an All-Pro season.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, a consistently solid performer since joining the Vikings via round two of the 2011 draft, could be on the verge of a major increase in production. As noted by Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a column that takes a close look at the team’s tight end depth chart for 2018, new offensive coordinator John DeFillippo’s history suggests a very bright future for Rudolph.
“What [DeFilippo] was able to do in 2015 with [Browns tight end] Gary Barnidge, and then obviously last year [Zach] Ertz had an unbelievable year in this system,” Rudolph said, via Krammer. “It’s not just us. Obviously, he’s had great success with tight ends. What he is able to do with all the playmakers and all of the chess pieces that we have on offense, it’s been a lot of fun to see.”
Beyond Rudolph, the team’s other tight ends will need to be ready to contribute. Per Krammer, Eagles third-stringer Trey Burton nevertheless took 300 snaps last year. Vikings No. 3 tight end Blake Bell, in contrast, had less than half that amount.
Bell will need to fend off rookie Tyler Conklin to have a chance to be the No. 3 option again this year. At the top of the depth chart, however, there’s no question that Rudolph is the guy. And Rudolph could end up topping his career year of 83 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016.