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Kyle Rudolph: I’d put myself right up there with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski


Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph doesn’t put up the big receiving numbers we’re become used to seeing at the position in recent years, although his efforts in 2012 were enough to get him to the Pro Bowl.

Rudolph is entering the final year of his rookie contract and he said Wednesday that he’d like to sign an extension with the team this offseason. Rudolph made his argument by comparing himself to the top players at the position while pointing out that there’s more to the job than catching passes.

“There’s a ton of talented tight ends in our game,” Rudolph said, via the Pioneer Press. “You have guys that play at a high level, like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis. But I would put myself up there with them. I feel as a tight end, it’s extremely important to be a guy that can contribute in the running game and also in the passing game.”

While the desire for the security of an extension is obvious, Rudolph might be in better position after next season. He’s coming off a foot injury that limited him to eight games last season and the arrival of Norv Turner as offensive coordinator could lead to new highs in the passing game if Rudolph plays a full season.