2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kyle Rudolph to Minnesota Vikings

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2011

Rudolph, a 6'6", 259-pound tight end out of Notre Dame is one of the more intriguing players in the entire draft, bringing size, surprising speed, good hands and a boatload of talent to the next level.

His intrigue, however, stems from a season-ending hamstring injury he suffered after six games of his junior season.

In those five-plus games, though, Rudolph caught 28 balls for 328 yards and three touchdowns, including a 95-touchdown catch and run against Michigan on Sept. 11, 2010. On that day against the Wolverines, he made eight catches for 164 yards. In fact, Rudolph was on pace for 56 receptions before his injury, a total that would have broken Ken MacAfee’s single-season school record for receptions by a tight end.

Rudolph didn’t exactly wow his critics at his pro day earlier in April, running 40 times of 4.78 and 4.8, but he did prove to most that he was recovered from his injury.

"They wanted to see that I'm healthy," Rudolph told Eric Hansen of The Sports Xchange. "I can tell them I'm healthy and other people can tell them I'm healthy, but until you see it, with as severe as injury as I had, to be back to normal six months later is tough. There's not many people that can do it."

If he's healthy, Rudolph should provide ample backup for an aging Visanthe Shiancoe with the Vikings and should also be a solid blocker for superstar running back Adrian Peterson.

Draft grade: B+