Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph Is Rising Up Draft Boards; Could Land in Atlanta?

Ivan BliminseCorrespondent IApril 7, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - SETPEMBER 19: Kyle Rudolph #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pulls away from Roderick Jenrette #40 of the Michigan State Spartans on September 19, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 33-30. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There is no question that the top tight end in the 2011 NFL Draft class is Notre Dame product Kyle Rudolph. From the start of his career Rudolph was on the right path. He set multiple freshman records and become the first Notre Dame tight end to start every game in his first season. His size, strength and speed are not a concern, but his ability to stay healthy could raise some flags.

Rudolph underwent shoulder surgery before this past season and saw himself limited in the spring. He then saw his junior campaign come to an abrupt stop when he suffered a torn hamstring. At a time where it is important to show you are healthy enough to make a quick jump to the pros.

Rudolph was looking to prove that he was healthy and he ended up doing much more than that.

At today's Pro Day, Rudolph ran the 40-yard dash in impressive times of 4.78 and 4.8 seconds. His complete workout numbers were: 34.5-inch vertical, 9'5" broad jump, 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, 7.24 three-cone and 12.30-12.33 in 60-yard shuttle.

The workout created a lot of buzz and has teams and scouts discussing the possibility of Rudolph making an appearance at the end of the first round.

It wasn't just the numbers from his physical tests that impressed people; they were also blown away by his hands.

“Everyone came away with a buzz about how good his hands are,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.

One possible landing spot for Rudolph in the first round is the Atlanta Falcons. Rudolph will even be working out for the team late next week. 

Rudolph did everything you could have asked him to do by putting himself back in the first round conversation. The only remaining question is, did he do enough to hear his name called in the first 32 picks come April 28th?