Kyle Rudolph Has a Really Hot Take about Vikings Rookie QB

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Rudolph played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011 to 2020, a full 10 seasons.

Kyle Rudolph Has a Really Hot Take about Vikings Rookie QB

Now retired, the beloved former Viking has a cautionary tale, a rather hot take, about the team’s next quarterback — whichever rookie that may be.

Kyle Rudolph
Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph catches the winning touchdown over New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams in overtime on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Minnesota Vikings Vs New Orleans Saints. © Elizabeth Flores, Tribune News Service, Elmira Star-Gazette via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

In short, don’t expect to see the guy anytime soon. Rudolph appeared on The Up and Adams Show this week and claimed Minnesota’s current offense is no fit for a first-year signal-caller. Translation: if Rudolph is correct, the purple team will have a true watch-and-learn situation around the bend in 2024, much like the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017 with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes.

Rudolph told Adams about the intricacies of Kevin O’Connell’s scheme and its connection to a rookie passer, “A rookie QB is not going to be able to come in and operate this style offense. There is so much put on the QB in Minnesota. There is no way that you can have that volume on a rookie to play that position.”

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

For some Vikings fans, Rudolph’s comments will be disappointing. Because the Houston Texans blasted off last year with C.J. Stroud — and reached the AFC’s Divisional Playoff Round — starting the new guy right away and thriving. Others will accept Sam Darnold, a newcomer free agent, as a patchover quarterback indefinitely because that strategy works, too.

The plot may also thicken with the identity of the rookie quarterback. The odds-on favorite to land in Minnesota is J.J. McCarthy, and he just turned 21 two months ago. It might make more sense for a man so young to watch and learn behind Darnold for a year.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Indiana during the second half of U-M’s 52-7 win over Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Conversely, men like Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. will turn 24 inside the 2024 regular season, so ripping off the band-aid sooner rather than later could be more profitable.

As for the likelihood of Minnesota landing a rookie quarterback, well, that feels inevitable as of March 25th. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled off a sweet trade a week and a half ago, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. A second trade is probably on the way with a team in the draft’s top five, and then Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell will be well on their way to selecting Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan). Stay tuned.

Don't Rule Out Vikings + Kyle Rudolph Reunion
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, Rudolph’s comments aren’t necessarily a first of their kind. It’s common knowledge around the NFL that O’Connell’s offense isn’t a cakewalk for a quarterback to absorb. Rudolph may be onto something about the timeline.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by