In 2015, Kyle Rudolph managed to stay healthy for a full 16-game season for just the second time in his five-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings. The former Notre Dame standout also established a new career-high with 495 yards receiving on 49 receptions. Rudolph led the team with five touchdown catches while helping the Vikings capture the NFC North title.
Rudolph’s career has been slowed by injuries, a run oriented offense, changes in coaching staffs, and the development of two first-round rookie quarterbacks. It’s true, his production has not yet lived up to his talent level or lofty contract status. Sporting News goes as far as to rank Rudolph as the Vikings’ worst contract situation in their 32-team study of worst contracts per team.
Vikings fans are still waiting for Rudolph’s breakout season, and ESPN’s Ben Goessling believes Rudolph has the most to gain from the Vikings improved offensive line. According to Goessling, the Vikings’ instability on the offensive line affected how they used him last season. If the Vikings can protect Bridgewater better in 2016, he thinks Rudolph stands to benefit more than anyone else on the roster.