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Minnesota Vikings 2011 NFL Draft: Vikings Select Notre Dame Tight End Kyle Rudolph

The Minnesota Vikings made a somewhat surprising pick with the 43rd selection in the 2011 National Football League Draft on Friday evening. The Vikings, rather than looking towards the defensive line or the secondary as many expected, instead attempted to bolster their offense, tabbing Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph as their selection.

Rudolph is an outstanding physical specimen, standing 6'6" and weighing in at around 265 pounds. He and Visanthe Shiancoe will make an interesting tight end tandem for the Vikings, as they both have the ability to move out wide if necessary and create match-up problems for opponents.

Since the Vikings will, in all likelihood, have a rookie starting at quarterback in 2011, having a couple of "safety blankets" like Rudolph and Shiancoe will be a good way to help the youngster along and allow him to get comfortable in Bill Musgrave's new offense. . .particularly if there is no Sidney Rice on the outside to get the ball to.

So, unless something changes, the Minnesota Vikings don't have any more selection until pick 106 overall in Round Four. We'll keep an eye on things and see if that changes, but for now, things might be a little quiet at Winter Park for a while.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.