Kyle Rudolph Will Play Huge Role For Minnesota Vikings in 2013

By Andrew Fisher
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With all the talk about the Minnesota Vikings‘ wide receivers (or lack thereof), people seem to be forgetting that they have a pretty good young tight end on the roster. Kyle Rudolph will be going into his third season in 2013, and after winning the Pro Bowl MVP, he seems ready to emerge on the scene.

Rudolph had a very solid sophomore season. It wasn’t a ‘breakout’ type of year, but he did end up making it to the Pro Bowl as an alternate. In 2012, it was all about the end zone with the young TE. He established himself as one of the best red zone targets in the game, while hauling in nine touchdowns in total.

But the truth is, that Rudolph’s second season was extremely up-and-down. He’d go off one week for 75 yards and two TDs, and then fail to break the 10-yard mark the following week. Consistency was a major issue, but of course some of that blame falls on the lack of receivers and Christian Ponder.

Heading forward, the sky is the limit for Kyle Rudolph. There is nothing this guy can’t accomplish at the tight end position. He’s said on numerous occasions that he wants to be the best in the business, and with Rob Gronkowski fighting injuries, now might be the time for Rudolph to shine.

The Vikings are going to need a huge season from him, because even though they’ve improved their receiver corps, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Rudolph has to put up big numbers, on a regular basis. Minnesota can’t afford to have him go weeks where he only catches two passes. The TE must be a reliable target for Ponder, all season.

Asking him to rack up 1,000 yards would be a bit much, but I see no reason to think that 750 receiving yards would be out of the question.


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