Minnesota Vikings: 3 Reasons Kyle Rudolph Is the Offensive X-Factor

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings enter 2018 with high expectations after signing Cousins. The key to success, however, is Kyle Rudolph, and here are three reasons why.

The former second-round player out of Notre Dame is quietly becoming one of the NFL’s top tight ends. After a solid 2017 season that saw Kyle Rudolph haul in 57 passes and eight touchdowns, the expectations for the eight-year veteran are high. For the first time in Rudolph’s NFL career, he has a proven and consistent starter under center.

Arguably, the biggest offseason acquisition this year was the defending NFC North Vikings snagging Kirk Cousins in free agency. Cousins joins an offense stacked with talent.

At running back, there is talented second-year Dalvin Cook returning from injury. Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs and Minnesota favorite Adam Thielen form a dynamic wide receiver duo. Rounding out the offensive skill players is Kyle Rudolph at tight end.

In terms of NFL exposure, Cook, Diggs, and Thielen get most of the publicity. It’s not hard to see why. Cook is one of the top young backs in the game, Diggs just signed a large $60 million deal, and Thielen is that feel-good story of a guy who won’t be denied his dream.

Despite limited hype outside of Minnesota, Kyle Rudolph, not Cook, Diggs, or Thielen, is the most important offensive weapon for Kirk Cousins. Kyle Rudolph is Minnesota’s offensive x-factor, and here are three reasons why.

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