TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

HT: 6-6, WT: 259, Born: 11-9-1989, College: Notre Dame, Drafted: Round 2

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2014 Projections

David Dodds15.067.06639.96.0102
Bob Henry16.070.075510.87.0118
Jason Wood16.066.067010.26.0103
Maurile Tremblay16.064.06169.66.098

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: E Decker (86), R Wayne (87), Kyle Rudolph (88), J Reed (89), D Pitta (90)
Position: J Witten (65-TE6), G Olsen (78-TE7), Kyle Rudolph (88 - TE8), J Reed (89-TE9), D Pitta (90-TE10)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

PPR Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]

Overall: W Welker (82), C Kaepernick (83), Kyle Rudolph (84), T Williams (85), E Decker (86)
Position: J Reed (76-TE7), G Olsen (78-TE8), Kyle Rudolph (84 - TE9), D Pitta (88-TE10), Z Ertz (99-TE11)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

Best Case

Rudolph returns from injury and steps right back into the role he played back in 2012. He has the skills to be dangerous in the short passing game, and a big, physical style to make him a great red zone target. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater is going to need a check-down option and Adrian Peterson is going to draw a massive amount of attention from the defense. Rudolph can be that safety blanket that Bridgewater turns to when the pressure is on, and he could flirt with top ten numbers again this season.

Worst Case

Bridgewater comes in and focuses on downfield passing. Rudolph becomes the check down guy that is a last result when defenses take away take away Adrian Peterson. He chips in a couple receptions each game and maybe a TD or two, but not much more. He has as many one and two point games as eight point ones and he frustrates fantasy owners every time they start him hoping for a surprise.


Rudolph was on his way to a decent season last year before he was lost for the season with a foot injury. He’ll be back at full strength this season and taking on a prominent role in Norv Turner’s offense. Turner’s offense has turned out some great fantasy tight ends in the past, and Rudolph’s size and athleticism should be perfect for it. Look for Rudolph to return to his 2012 stats and make a big push for a contract extension next season.

Latest News

Vikings | Kyle Rudolph could be a cap casualty (Fri Jan 15, 01:40 AM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is a strong candidate to be released during the offseason, in the opinion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Ben Goessling, though he added it's also possible that the team will try to renegotiate Rudolph's contract.

Our View: No surprise here. Rudolph is no longer the same player he used to be. Due around $7.6 million in 2021, releasing Rudolph would free up over $5 million. Irv Smith should take on a larger role in 2021 while Rudolph should find a home with a new team.
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2014 Schedule

1at St. Louis Rams
2 New England Patriots
3at New Orleans Saints
4 Atlanta Falcons
5at Green Bay Packers
6 Detroit Lions
7at Buffalo Bills
8at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9 Washington Redskins
Bye week
11at Chicago Bears
12 Green Bay Packers
13 Carolina Panthers
14 New York Jets
15at Detroit Lions
16at Miami Dolphins
17 Chicago Bears

2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - Last season Christian Ponder looked to Kyle Rudolph whenever he was in a bind. That may happen again, but at least against the Detroit Lions, Ponder looked more the Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson than his old reliable Rudolph. The Lions also worked hard to take Rudolph out of plays,playing him physically at the line sometimes and just blanketing him in coverage for others. Ponder didn't help, overthrowing Rudolph on two missed passes, one of which resulted in a game,sealing interception late in the fourth quarter. On that play, Rudolph was well covered,he had defenders bracketing him in front and behind,but Ponder threw the ball anyway. It would have taken a tremendous throw to allow Rudolph to get that pass and Ponder couldn't do that. Instead the ball glanced off Rudolph's fingertips and into the arms of Glover Quin.

Week 2 - As always, quarterback Christian Ponder looks to his tight end quite often. Kyle Rudolph was the target on the first touchdown by the offense, tying the game at 21 to end the first half. Unfortunately the television feed was lost due to technical difficulties but the play-by-play described Rudolph as ripping the ball from the defender for the touchdown. Rudolph's size, strength and athleticism continue to make him a key red-zone target for the offense. Rudolph had a largely quite game otherwise, making a few nice grabs where he was able to use his body to create some space between himself and the Bears' defense. He also seemed to let up on a block during a Christian Ponder scramble for a first down, surprising as normally he does a solid job blocking.

Week 3 - As was the case with many of the pieces in the passing game, Kyle Rudolph often had poorly thrown passes to work with. After an initial catch which netted the team five yards, Rudolph saw two targets which gave him no chance to make a play on. One, a deep pass to the left side of the field was a result of Rudolph getting jammed in coverage and not getting free, but the second was a carpet-grazer thrown to his feet. Rudolph then bobbled and dropped the next pass, one where the team was backed up into its own end and needed a first down. Rudolph would have been short of the first down, but it might have made the third down more manageable. After the drop, Ponder threw a screen pass to Adrian Peterson which was short of the first down and the team had to punt. Rudolph did redeem himself at least a little, as he caught his next four targets and did a great job on one to fight towards the first down marker on a third-and-10 try. He fell one yard short but dragged a defender with him as he stretched for the marker.

Week 4 - Unlike Christian Ponder, Matt Cassell does not look for Kyle Rudolph short quite as often. He only targeted Rudolph a pair of times, though both were caught;. On the first, Rudolph was thrashed to the ground by Lamar Woodley and drew an unnecessary roughness penalty. It appears as though Rudolph’s role—already smaller than it was last year—is growing even tinier.

Week 6 - Kyle Rudolph had his best game of the season with both his highest yardage totals and catches as well as the highest amount of targets he’s seen since Week 6 of 2012. As with much of the offense, the majority of his targets were on short passes. He did have a nice catch on a deeper route late in the first half. On the play, a “Hook” route run by Rudolph on the left side of the field, quarterback Matt Cassel made a nice throw to his tight end, who had used his body to block out the coverage. Rudolph’s touchdown came on a very short pass, where Rudolph showed off some deft moves to avoid tacklers. On the play, late in the fourth quarter, Rudolph ran a couple of yards off the line of scrimmage and turned. Cassel delivered the ball quickly and Rudolph caught it, then turned upfield. As a defender reached for him, Rudolph danced backwards and the player had to reach to even lay a hand on him, falling to the ground. Another Panther dove at Rudolph, who sidestepped him and headed to the outside. Receiver Joe Webb did a nice job delaying a couple more defenders as the tight end raced for the end zone for the touchdown.

Week 7 - Rudolph saw a decent volume of targets but too many were high and off for him to reel too many of them in. The worst was an ill-conceived throw by Freeman which was intercepted. Rudolph was well covered on an intermediate route and Freeman, who was being hauled down by the Giants, heaved the ball in his general direction. The ball was high and too long—as was common Monday night—and Giants safety Antrel Rolle made a spectacular one handed interception. The rest of Rudolph’s night was unremarkable.

Week 8 - This game saw Kyle Rudolph revert back to quarterback Christian Ponder’s safety blanket and when Ponder was under pressure, he looked for Rudolph. The Packers knew this and took care to keep an eye on him and make it tough for him to make a catch but when he got loose, he gained a lot of yards. Rudolph made a great catch on a 17-yard pass by Ponder which may have bailed the quarterback out of a terrible decision. Under pressure, Ponder saw Rudolph deep and heaved the ball up. Rudolph jumped up and made a nice catch—if he hadn’t it’s a throw that might have been picked off. Rudolph made a nice run after a short catch late in the fourth quarter. On the play, Rudolph made a nice catch on a dump pass and then shoved a defender out of the way as he ran for another ten yards, delivering a hit to end the run.

Week 9 - While he scored a touchdown on an impressive catch and run, Kyle Rudolph also left the game with what ended up being a broken foot and, according to the Star-Tribune’s Chip Scoggins, will be down for 4-6 weeks. The touchdown, a 31 yard play in the third which was an all out battle for the last ten yards came on a very nice throw by Christian Ponder which Rudolph, although well covered, was able to jump up and grab while continuing to move forward. Rudolph then shed one tackler, slipped away from another and dragged a third for the score. As he crossed the goal line both he and the Cowboys defender hit the ground and it appeared on tape as if Rudolph’s left foot was twisted awkwardly under the defender. You could see him wincing and limping when he stood up though.