3. Kyle Rudolph, TE
- Yards per Target: 7.70 yards
- Percentage of Touchdowns to Target: 7.69 percent
- Percentage of First Downs to Target: 43.08 percent
Heading into his 10th year with the Minnesota Vikings, tight end Kyle Rudolph makes the cut for a reason that vastly outshines all others: his mastery of scoring touchdowns in crucial moments.
Rudolph is affectionately labeled “Rudolph the Redzone Reindeer.” This is not a coy marketing campaign or a title with a cute ring to it–the name is richly merited.
Since 2011, Rudolph has grabbed 12 receiving touchdowns in the fourth quarter of games when the score margin is within 10 points. This is the very best in the NFL among tight ends in the last nine years and it is the fourth-best among all players, including wide receivers. The man is clutch.
Rudolph notoriously walked-off the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs last season and it is no surprise whatsoever Kirk Cousins entrusted him with the assignment. Vikings quarterbacks before Cousins demonstrated confidence and Rudolph, and the current Minnesota signal-caller has furthered the trend.