MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Vikings already had a solid group of tight ends before they drafted Kyle Rudolph, but the Notre Dame rookie has been raising some eyebrows as he trains on the field in Mankato.
He came to Minnesota ready to, at least, understand the spotlight, given his years at the pressure cooker that is Notre Dame.
“In college, the spotlight is always on Notre Dame,” Rudolph said. “You’re always the center of attention in the country, and to be able to come from a program like that … it doesn’t get much tougher anywhere you go.”
But Rudolph isn’t in college any more. He’s taken the next step in his career: training camp NFL-style.
“In college, you have a few guys you kind of have to worry about, and once you get to this level, you’ve got to bring it every play,” Rudolph said.
Rudolph has made a solid first impression at training camp. He has natural ability and Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave said that Rudolph is “good lookin’ on the hoof.”
“He’s big, he can get out of his breaks, and he appears to have good hands,” Musgrave said.
Good hands are just was the Vikings need. With the team’s wide receiver positions still in question, Rudolph may have himself an opportunity. That opportunity could mean that Rudolph and Visanthe Shiancoe could be on the field at the same time.
“It is something we would love to do,” Rudolph said. “You see other teams in the NFL who are utilizing two tight end sets, and it creates a lot of mismatches.”
However, it is still early to speculate what Rudolph will be for the team. His coaches said that they still need to better understand his strengths and weakness in order to successfully place him in the NFL spotlight.