Positives: Has pretty good size and athleticism for the position. Has very reliable hands and makes catches away from his body nicely. Can stretch the seam and threaten the middle of the field and has a good feel for how to attack man and zone coverage, showing the ability find a hole and sit down in it against zone coverage. He surprised me with his ability as a blocker and actually showed some potential there with solid initial contact and ability to sustain.
Negatives: He isn’t an elite athlete and that was before he sustained a serious hamstring injury. I was not particularly impressed with his burst to get in and out of breaks which will hurt his ability to create separation against man coverage, but some of that may come back as he becomes closer to 100%. He showed surprising ability as a blocker but he still needs to improve his technique and get stronger to be a more effective run blocker.
Overall: Rudolph elected to declare in spite of his injury concerns and many have him ranked as the top TE in the draft class. I think he could be a very good TE in the NFL if he can stay healthy and if he works to improve his run blocking. He is a very natural receiver and that makes him attractive to a lot of teams that like to throw the ball a lot. I don’t think he can be a top option on any team, but he could be a very dangerous weapon especially if you had a good stable of receivers and a solid running game because defenses won’t be able to key on him.
Projection: 2nd round. He will probably go in the top 40 picks to be honest, but there is an outside shot he could go to Atlanta #27 overall in round one.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Body Control: 4.0
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