EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Kyle Rudolph has some of the surest hands in the NFL. His 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame is fit for the type of tight end who can be one of his team's best passing targets.
"He's had a great camp. He's been terrific through this offseason, and I
really like the confidence he's playing with and practicing with," said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier.
In Minnesota's offense, Rudolph's skills as a pass catcher are a positive, but the team also expects him to be a solid run blocker.
"He's gotten better as a blocker," Frazier said. "I've seen that in training camp and he's become more assertive from a vocal standpoint."
Frazier said that Rudolph is also growing as a leader in the locker room.
"That's going to take a little bit of time, but you can see as he's gaining the experience. He's growing in that area as well," Frazier said.
Only Rob Gronkowski had more touchdown receptions last year among tight ends than Rudolph, who went to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Tony Gonzalez.
But with Adrian Peterson running the ball for the Vikings, Rudolph is probably not on track to post the eye-catching statistics that guys like Gronkowski and Gonzalez have in the past.
But coaches still expect a lot from this budding star.
"He's going to be a good player for us this season without question," Frazier assured. "Some of the things that happened in that Pro Bowl, I really believe increased his confidence and him knowing that 'I can play with the best' has really showed up in practices."
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