NFL Draft 2011: No. 1 Tight End Prospect Kyle Rudolph

Jacqueline KirbyContributor IIIApril 10, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: Kyle Rudolph #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish breaks away from Quinton Rochardson #28 of the Washington Huskies after catching the ball on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notre Dame's junior tight end, Kyle Rudolph, declared he would be entering the NFL draft after missing half of his season due to a hamstring injury.  Rudolph has been widely speculated not only because of his skill but because of his tendency to get injured.  Teams have to be careful in picking an injury prone player, but Rudolph is out to show them that he is definitely worth the risk.

After his surgery in October, Rudolph spent months rehabbing and then joined some of the other prospects in California to train at Velocity Sports Performance.  He busted his butt getting back to work and making sure he would be ready for Notre Dame's pro day last week.  

Following the successful pro day where Rudolph proved to the scouts that he is a force to be reckoned with, he tweeted out to all of his followers:

"Thank you everyone for your support and prayers over the last six months leading up to yesterday! It was great to be back healthy and movin!"  

So now that we know he is as healthy as he said, the question is what team should draft him?  Tight ends are not in high demand this draft season but there are a few teams who could certainly benefit from his talent.  

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN both say that Rudolph will go to the Broncos, who actually could use a tight end after releasing Daniel Graham at the end of the season.  Others say he could end up in Atlanta, where he is supposed to be working out later in the week.

No team is certain until April 28, but one thing is for sure—if Rudolph stays healthy, he will be a big player for a long time to come.