Kyle Rudolph – TE (2011)
The 2011 NFL Draft is widely remembered in Vikings history for the horrible first-round pick the team made in quarterback Christian Ponder. He was never expected to go as high as pick No. 12 and Minnesota took him over some pretty solid defensive prospects who were still on the board.
To help Ponder’s development, the Vikings used their second-round choice on a tight end. That tight end happened to be Kyle Rudolph, who has blossomed into one of the best in the history of the team.
Rudolph has been with Minnesota since being drafted and he has proven to be a very reliable tight end who is a huge asset in the red zone. Rudolph’s career numbers with the team are very impressive. He’s racked up 425 receptions for 4,154 yard and 47 touchdowns during his time with the Vikings.
He’s still a ways behind former Minnesota tight end Steve Jordan in receptions and yards, but Rudolph has him well surpassed in touchdowns. When it’s all said and done, he could go down as the greatest tight end in Vikings history.
What is even more impressive than his on-field numbers is his work in the community. Rudolph is heavily involved with the Minnesota Children’s Hospital and he is always willing to donate or help out in the community when he can.
Rudolph has been one of the team’s best overall draft choices of the last decade and he has become a true Vikings legend.