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Football: Rudolph drafted by Minnesota

Allan Joseph | Monday, May 2, 2011

Notre Dame players had a disappointing weekend at the NFL Draft, with only one player – tight end Kyle Rudolph – selected. In addition, due to continuing collective-bargaining issues between the owners and players, none of the Irish players who went unselected were able to sign any free-agent contracts, as is customary for undrafted but desirable players.

Rudolph was selected by the Vikings in the second round of the draft Friday after no team selected him in the first round Thursday. Lingering issues about the health of Rudolph’s hamstring, which he injured last fall, may have contributed to Rudolph’s fall to the second round.

“I was under the impression that it was more likely that not that I would go yesterday, but my dream has come true and I’m in the NFL now,” Rudolph said after he was drafted Friday. “It was definitely tough because my hamstring is not an issue anymore. The MRI shows it’s 100 percent healed and all the doctors dug and prodded on it and they can’t find anything.”

Rudolph will be competing with three other tight ends for playing time in the fall, and while the Vikings were aware of their glut at the position, they felt that Rudolph’s talent was impossible to pass up.

“When he fell to us, we felt that he was too good of a player to pass up,” Vikings Vice President of Player Personnel Rick Spielman said. “I know we have three tight ends on our roster right now, but when you have a player like that, it’s just too good to pass up. I know we’ll sort it all out as we get there.”