2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph was recruited very heavily out of Cincinnati Elder High School in Ohio. Rivals listed him as the 20th best prospect in the nation for 2008, and the unanimous #1 overall tight end.
His production in high school was fantastic as tight ends usually don’t get much love in terms of overall recruiting, but he managed to “Wow” scouts. Luckily for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, he elected to attend school in South Bend.
Rudolph came in right away to make an impact for Notre Dame and started every game as a freshman. A shoulder injury kept him out of three games as a sophomore, and he missed seven more games as a junior with a hamstring injury.
Player Name: Kyle Rudolph
Position: Tight End
School: Notre Dame
Height: 6’6 1/8
Hand: 10 1/4
For a man of Rudolph’s stature, he sure does run well. He has excellent speed for a tight end, and can stretch the field. He has strong hands, and catches the ball well in traffic. He does a nice job getting separation, and finding holes in the zone coverage. Rudolph runs well after the catch and has does a nice job of catching the ball with his hands, rather than his body. He has improved as a blocker, although he still needs more work. He’s quite a physical player who isn’t afraid to run over a defender to gain the extra yard. He doesn’t get knocked off his route easily either, and isn’t afraid of contact in the middle of the field.
Injury concerns have to be #1 with a guy like Rudolph. The shoulder injury in 2009 raises concerns, and even moreso the hamstring injury that left him out of seven games in 2010, which was a nagging one even as early as spring training. Some question his work ethic as he doesn’t always seem to give 100%. He’s been known to take a few plays off, and doesn’t give it his all on plays that aren’t going to him or aren’t in his area, which is a red flag. He doesn’t have great acceleration, as it takes him a bit to get to the next gear, and he has had some mental lapses when attempting to catch passes, although his drops were quite uncharacteristic.
Rudolph screams first round talent, but in a top heavy draft, and a low demand for tight ends, he will most likely fall to the second round and be a early to mid second round selection. Denver is in desperate need for a play making tight end for Tim Tebow, who loved Aaron Hernandez at Florida, but with so many defensive holes, they could elect to pass on Rudolph. Arizona and Houston could take a look at Rudolph in the early part of the second round, but Rudolph could slip even further to a team like Indianpolis, Atlanta, Seattle or Pittsburgh at the bottom of the second round.
NFL Comparison: Brandon Pettigrew