Prospect Profiles: TE Kyle Rudolph, Norte Dame

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

taken from bleacherreprt

Measurables

 6’6 265 pounds
 
 Born 11/09/1989 Junior

(Combine numbers will be posted once they become available)

Walterfootball projection: 40 time 4.62 (for reference  this time would have been the third fastest TE time at last year’s combine from nfl.com/combine)

Stats

2010 (6 games)- 28 catches, 328 yards, 3 touchdowns.

Big Games in 2010:

Vs Michigan: 8 catches 164 yards touchdown

@ Michigan State 8 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Rudolph has been productive When healthy. The problem is he has trouble staying healthy.

Video

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaBUE0Y_65M[/pro-player]

Scouting Reports

National Football Post’s Wes Bunting:

At 6-6, 265 pounds, the kid looks like a miniature offensive tackle at times. He’s a long-armed athlete with a big, strong set of hands in which he uses extremely well in both the run and pass game. When taking a look at him last year as more of a traditional “on the line Y,” Rudolph did a nice job coiling up into his stance, kept his pad level down and extended his arms well off the snap in the run game while keeping his base under him through the play. He did get a bit ahead of himself at times, especially when asked to block in the pass game, and would lose balance lunging into blocks at times.

He strikes me as a guy who you can certainly win with in the run game at the next level and has the type of power, flexibility and violent/heavy hands needed to hold his own vs. NFL-caliber defensive ends early on in his NFL career.

However, what might be even more impressive about the guy’s game are his overall movement skills in the pass game for such an imposing physical specimen. I love the fact that the guy possesses the type of bend and short-area quickness to cleanly side step defenders off the snap, keep his base down and take a positive first step into the pass game. He loves to work his inside jab step in order to free himself off the line and quickly/cleanly is able to get into his routes. He possesses a good first step and plays quick in tight quarters.

Now, the guy doesn’t have elite straight-line speed down the field and will start to lumber when trying to run away from a defender in the open field — like any 6-6, 265-pound athlete. However, he does have the necessary straight-line speed to certainly threaten the seam down the field and go up and make a play on the football.

Overall, this is a big, very impressively put together kid who can win for you consistently at the next level in both the run and pass game, and that type of tight end is becoming harder and harder to find. Rudolph has experience both with his hand on the ground and playing off the line as well. And I not only think this is the best tight end prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he’s the one guy who can come in and start for a team during his first season and could end up maturing into a potential Pro Bowl-caliber option at the next level

Mockingthedraft (rest is here)

Final Word: If he can stay healthy and work on some of his fundamentals, mainly blocking, Rudolph could turn into one of the most productive tight ends the NFL has seen in recent years. During the 2010 season, he was on pace to have career-highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns before getting injured and missing the last six games of the season. He has shown glimpses of brilliance, but will need to be more consistent in all facets of his game in order to live up to his potential. The consistency is coachable, so hopes are high.

There have been no character or intangible concerns for Rudolph to this point. He is a well-respected teammate who is highly regarded in the locker room. Displays great attitude and works hard on and off the field to better himself and his teammates. May sometimes slack off during plays that aren’t designed to go to him or if his team is down big, but for the most part, gives great effort throughout the game and during practices.

His draft stock may suffer a slight decline if he can’t prove that he is at least on the path to full recovery, as he has had numerous injuries during his time at Notre Dame. A should injury kept him out of the last two games of 2009, and then he missed the last six games of the 2010 regular season due to a hamstring injury.

Even though it is uncertain if he will declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, he is arguably the best tight end prospect that’s eligible. Many scouts will be concerned with his injuries. However, if he can make progress and give a good workout during his pro day and at the NFL Combine, Rudolph could easily be taken in the mid-to-late first round.

Sideline Scouting (check this site out: Good stuff)

Positives: Athletic… Good size… Good speed… Gets off the LOS quickly… Good short area quickness… Reaches top speed quickly… Can get separation… Runs crisp routes… Gets in and out of breaks quickly and smoothly… Good flexibility, body control and balance… Good receiver… Red zone target… Finds holes in zone coverage… Goes up after the ball… Adjusts to the ball well… Soft hands… Catches the ball away from his body… Physical… Can win jump balls… Can make tough catches… Does not go down easy… Strong stiff arm… Will break some tackles… Comes back toward LOS when plays break down… Good perimeter and second level blocker… Mentally tough… Good teammate… Could be over-drafted due to relatively poor tight end class… Great potential.

Negatives: Could add some muscle mass… Inconsistent concentration… Doesn’t appear to play with a mean streak… Durability concerns, missed last three games of 2009 season with shoulder injury and last seven games of 2010 season with hamstring injury… Offseason workouts will ultimately determine draft stock

CBS Draft Scout (rest is here)

Release: Gets off the line well for his size, whether lined up with his hand down or standing up. Gets up the seam in a hurry if unchecked at the line. Flexible enough to run around traffic off the line to get into his route, but must prove he can handle physical NFL linebackers.

Hands: Generally reliable move-the-chains receiver who also makes plays down the field. Keeps his hands in front of his body to snatch passes, even when facing the quarterback. Able to reach the ball forward with one hand for scores or first downs. Makes the circus catch in traffic. Adjusts much better to high passes than those thrown low or behind him. Will drop the occasional “head scratcher” when feeling a hit or trying to run before securing the ball.

Route running: Runs like a receiver, stretching the field vertically and pressing safeties and linebackers before stopping on square-ins. Lines up with his hand down, in the slot and in the backfield. Often used on short outs to move the chains. Gets his head around quickly to see the ball. Sells jerk routes with head fake to move safety inside or outside, though his movements are not sudden. Tough matchup down the seam because of his height and ability to grab passes above his head. Runs a lot of rounded and straight-line routes.

After the catch: A bullish runner, he gives good effort to get yards after the catch. Not in the Tony Gonzalez category in terms of athleticism and elusiveness, but flashes the ability to make the first man miss with a stiff arm or quick stop. Churns his legs to keep moving forward after contact; does not break as many tackles as you would expect and his height makes him lose the leverage battle.

Blocking: Has the size to be an effective in-line blocker at the next level. Capable of firing off the ball to seal defensive ends. Widens his base on the edge, uses long arms to hold off college defenders. Needs a lot of technique work as an open-field blocker. Gives some effort when engaged, but does not sustain or win battles as often as he should given his size. Stays too upright when approaching defenders and seems uncertain of his target, misses the inside man too often.

Intangibles: Solid locker room presence; has the work ethic and intelligence to succeed at the next level. Had surgery on a separated left shoulder before the 2010 season, another surgery on a right hamstring avulsion, which means the muscle detaches from the bone

Big Board Rankings

CBS Draft Scout 30th overall

Drafttek.com 17th overall

Mockingthedraft.com 26th overall

Sidelinescouting.com 31st overall

Possible Landing Spots

I think the earliest that Kyle Rudolph could land in the upcoming draft are spots that are not being mentioned at all. The first darkhorse is the St. Louis Rams. The Rams need another receiving option. Most people assume that the Rams will try to fill that void by drafting a WR, but their Tight ends also need to upgrade. If they want to upgrade both their WR corps and their tight ends through the draft, then it might make more sense for the Rams to grab Kyle Rudolph in the first round and a WR in the second round because there is only one good TE in this class, but a numbef of solid receivers.  

The second darkhouse candidate for Rudolph is the Dolphins, a team that could also really use a competent Tight End to help Chad Henne’s progression and to take pressure off of their WR corps. If Chad Henne is going to be the quarterback, then they need to try and upgrade his offensive weapons if they want to compete in the A.F.C East.

I think if that if the Giants move down Rudolph also becomes a possibility.

The last spot I’m going to mention in the first round is the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons might be looking to find a long term replacement for replace Tony Gonzalez.  Rudolph landing with the Falcons is the vogue choice right now.

Where the Mocks Have Rudolph Falling

The Only place I’ve seen Rudolph falling in the first round is to the Atlanta Falcons at 29th overall. This happens at a number of places: drafttek.com is one example.

Bartolis’ Final Thoughts

Without a doubt in my mind Kyle Rudolph has enough pure ability to play in the National Football League and be effective. He is a better than average blocker and has good mobility for his size. He’s not a physical beast in the mold of an Antonio Gates, but he’s still gifted athletically.

The question here is, is he a realistic possibility for the Giants at 19 overall? I think that he is, provided that they trade down in the first round. Kevin Boss is coming off another season riddled with iinjuries and concussions. Even worse for the Giants, his blocking and receiving regressed this year, which has to be a cause of concern for the Giants.

His hands aren’t as reliable as they have been as his drops increased this year. Perhaps, he has acquired “alligator arms” trying to brace for the hit that’s coming.

I love Boss’ blue collar work ethic and he’s a fan-favorite, but he’s not a dynamic athlete. The reason, in my opinion, he gets hit so much is not because of Eli; he gets hit so much because he doesn’t create any seperation from the defense. How often do you see him beat coverages? Often when Boss is wide open it’s because the defense forget about him. He is not open because he is blowing by a defender (like a Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, or any number of talented Tight ends in the league).

Rudolph, to me, fits the mold of what the Giants and Coughlin would like because Rudolph is a player who is versatile enough to block and catch as opposed to just a blocking tight end or just a receiving Tight end (like Travis Beckum).

The Giants will have to overlook two issues if they are going to draft Rudolph. First, the Giants can get by with Kevin Boss at tight end, which doesn’t make Rudolph a huge need for the G-men. Secondly, and more importantly, Rudolph has had a lot of injuries that are going to hurt his draft stock. The Giants have to decide if they want to take that kind of risk in lieu of other opportunities.

For me, I wouldn’t mind Rudolph with the 19th pick in the draft because I think he’s a lot better then people think he is, but I would really like it if the Giants traded down to the mid to late twenties and were able to get Rudolph.

If Rudolph somehow managed to fall to the Giants in the second round I’d be overwhelmed with joy. I think it’s unlikely that he reaches the second round though.

Player comparison:

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys.  He reminds me personally a lot of Jason Witten, the Cowboys TE who has given the Giants so much trouble. Like Witten, Rudolph can disengage quickly and set up in zone coverage, he also has enough speed to get by linebackers. He is much bigger than Cornerbacks and Safeties which also creates mismatches for opposing defenses.He has good speed for a man his size.  He also can block so the team can be flexible when he’s in the lineup. The Giants need two tight ends who can block and catch so they can try to run the ball out a real two tight end formation instead of bringing in an extra offensive linemen to try and run the ball (like they often did with Will Beatty or Shawn Andrews last year).

Witten and Rudolph are built almost identically (Witten is 6’6 263 pounds according to NFL.com, Rudolph is 6’6 265 pounds according to ESPN), and Witten ran a 4.67 40 yard dash before, which is similar to what Rudolph shound run.

The only thing that scares me about Rudolph are the injuries.

[poll id=”36″]

Previous Profiles

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

RB

Mark Ingram


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13 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: TE Kyle Rudolph, Norte Dame”

  1. jeremy P says:

    I voted pray he finds us in the second round but we might have to trade up in the second to get him. To about pick 39 or 40. I’m still hoping we can develop beckum into a serviceable TE. Though I’m probably the only one. He looks good, I love that he’s an above average blocker because thats what he will be used as the majority of the time on a Coughlin coached team. The more weapons we give Eli the more efficient our offense will run and the sillier he’ll make opposing defenses look.

  2. Mike K says:

    I voted the same, but would also be willing to move up a few picks in the 2nd round to get him. I don’t know if he’s worth the 19th pick, and trading *down* in the draft is always dicey, b/c you never know if they trade down if say Atlanta may just trade up ahead of them. But he’s still first round value, so if he’s there in the 2nd round, go get him. At worst, he fills the 3rd TE spot coming out of camp and has to play his way into a more prominent role.

  3. Hello says:

    Your articles are too long. tone it down bitch!

  4. erik says:

    waste of a pic. He’s a slot TE and Gilbride offense doesnt use a slot TE because if we did Shockey would still be with us. Sign Zach miller away from Oakland.

  5. Dave C says:

    I like Rudolph a lot. Think he would fit in well with our offense especially down in the red zone where Boss seems to disappear. I like Boss, but in reality he is a below-average starting TE. Yes he has a great last name and seems to get hit harder than most guys and get up from those hits, but I think thats a function of him not being able to get any sort of seperation at all.

    I believe we need LB, OL and secondary depth in that particular order. What we realy need is a dynamic return guy who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. It seems like almost every team, (and certainly every good team) has that type of guy. Hixon is decent but certainly not of that caliber and who knows what he will be like after a serious knee injury. Just look at our division, Banks on the Redskins, Desean Jackson on the Eagles and Scanlan and Dez Bryant on the Cowboys. I feel this is one of the easiest positions for a young guy to make an impact from Brandon Banks to Mariana on the Titans to LaRod Stephens-Howling, Eric Weems, Dexter McCluster, the list goes on. We need Reese to step his game up and find one of these guys in the middle rounds.

    • Geeeeemen says:

      Agree 100% with the special teams return man comment.

    • erik says:

      Problem is we dont have much roster space. If we draft a corner early we can use aaron ross as a punt returner and hixon as kiCk returner, that lineup would be upgraded within. We need youth and speed on defense. Philly is faster than us in every category. We need best player available in the draft. You fill a need with a free agent not a rookie.

  6. jeremy P says:

    Boss was suppose to be our number two TE. But Shockey’s emotional instability forces us to use Boss out of position.

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