Kyle Rudolph   TE   Notre Dame

TALENT BOARD

 Round 1


 

STRENGTHS

Kyle has excellent size, strength and speed to play his position.  He does a great job of blocking on the line and in space.  Kyle shows good hands to catch the ball on short routes.  He has the speed to challenge most linebackers in coverage and the size to dominate most safeties or corners.  He will scare the bejeebers out of defensive coordinators in the passing game because he can be used in the slot on passing downs and does not have to come off the field.  Kyle looks on film to be very smart and understands situational football.  He takes pride in being the best on every play and shows leadership qualities through his play on the field. Kyle reminds me a lot of Heath Miller (TE Steelers), but at this point of his career, Kyle is a better blocker than Heath was when he came out.

 

CONCERNS

Kyle does struggle with consistency catching the ball deep down the field, but this looks to me like it is strictly a concentration issue and not because he has bad hands.  Sometimes Kyle will one hand the ball and drop passes because he is in a hurry to catch the ball and go.  This is a bad habit that a lot of athletic players fall into.  I just think he gets impatient waiting for the ball to get to him.  The other reason might be depth perception issues that can easily be addressed.  My point is that these issues are not enough of a problem to think that Kyle will not be an impact player at the next level. Kyle relies a little too much on his strength to block and needs to use better leverage but again, this is nit picking.

   

BOTTOM LINE

Last year, I told every one about Rob Gronkowski (TE Patriots) who was drafted in the 2nd round.  I told everyone that he has first round talent and would impact right away (see THR Archives for profile).  Now I'm telling you the same about Kyle.  Kyle is an impact player waiting to be drafted and the day after he is drafted, he will impact for your offense in both blocking and receiving.  Right now, Kyle is a better blocker than Rob Gronkowski, but Rob looks to be faster and a little better receiver because he can catch the ball like a wide receiver.  Kyle catches the ball like a tight end. In this draft class, there are not many tight ends who can block and catch the ball, so I would suspect that Kyle will be selected early after he works out and teams get a feel for this kid's overall talent.  Some teams in need of a TE might list Kyle as a top ten pick because he has the talent to impact right away at a position of need.  That's how slotting works for most teams.  Some people are going to suggest that you don't draft tight ends in the top ten and I say why not?  If the draft were held today and you needed a tight end would you draft Tony Gonzalez in the top ten?  He was the 13th pick of the draft in 1997.  I just bet there are teams in the top ten of that draft who are very sorry they didn't draft Tony...IF they needed a Tight End.  My point is this...Kyle has first round talent.  He has talent that will make him impact the day after you draft him.  He is smart and shows football intelligence on the field.  He shows leadership qualities.  He is projected to play his position at a Pro Bowl level very quickly.  He can transfer what he learns in practice to the field very quickly so if your team is in dire need of improving the Tight End position, then why would you not draft Kyle at any place in the first round of this draft?  I call him Kyle (Bejeebers) Rudolph because he will scare the bejeebers out of the players who have to play against him.  He will be that good.  Select him at any point you want in the 1st round, but don't try to be clever and think that drafting Kyle too early in this draft is a mistake because he is just a tight end.      

 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart   Feb/11