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12 hours ago, swede700 said:

He's not a poor blocker, he's just not a great one.  He's far better than he was when he came out.  

He's absolutely a poor blocker; it's never been a strong suit.

Edited by RpMc

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10 hours ago, RpMc said:

He's absolutely a poor blocker; it's never been a strong suit.

It depends upon your perspective of who you're comparing him against.  Against the elite blocking TEs?  Sure, he'd be considered poor.  But, you compare him to Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz, he's an All-Pro blocker.   

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1 minute ago, swede700 said:

It depends upon your perspective of who you're comparing him against.  Against the elite blocking TEs?  Sure, he'd be considered poor.  But, you compare him to Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz, he's an All-Pro blocker.   

It's a comparison across the entire position, not just a single player. For a tight end, Kyle Rudolph is not a good blocker. In-line, flexed, PoA, back-side, no matter the scenario, he's not a good blocker for his position.  If he was putting up Ertz or Graham (Saints) numbers, or could stretch the field, or was dynamic after the catch, or made less money... no one would care he couldn't block, because he would be helping the offense in other ways.

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18 minutes ago, RpMc said:

It's a comparison across the entire position, not just a single player. For a tight end, Kyle Rudolph is not a good blocker. In-line, flexed, PoA, back-side, no matter the scenario, he's not a good blocker for his position.  If he was putting up Ertz or Graham (Saints) numbers, or could stretch the field, or was dynamic after the catch, or made less money... no one would care he couldn't block, because he would be helping the offense in other ways.

Agreed entirely. Ertz and Graham (prime) get a pass for being poor blockers given how dangerous they are as receivers. Rudolph is closer to that level of a blocker than someone like Morgan.

Rudolph's lack of ability to get open has reduced him to mostly a dump off option. He wasn't looked at much by Cousins in the redzone either. I don't see the point in hanging onto a TE that costs millions of $s who's essentially just a redzone target. Rudolph should have put up better number last year with all the attention Diggs and Thielen. We need someone more dynamic and I'm fine keeping Morgan and Conklin around as the #2 and #3, don't see a reason to keep 4 TEs.

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32 minutes ago, swede700 said:

It depends upon your perspective of who you're comparing him against.  Against the elite blocking TEs?  Sure, he'd be considered poor.  But, you compare him to Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz, he's an All-Pro blocker.   

If you are using Jimmy Graham as a comparison for blocking that is a pretty large indictment on his blocking. I believe this whole discussion about Rudolph's blocking skills comes in response to a statement that Rudolph's value comes from his blocking skills. I responded, "Yeah, if that is the value they are looking at from the position they should go with Morgan. Morgan brings way more to the table with regard to blocking skills and is also way cheaper."

If the argument in favor of his blocking is a comparison to Graham and Ertz, that is fairly damning of the position that Rudolph's value comes from his blocking skills.  I will concede to you that Graham is a fair comparable as it relates to Rudolph's blocking. And with that concession, I will rest my case.

Edited by Cearbhall

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To be frank, I wouldn't defend that comment that his value comes from his blocking skills, because it's flat untrue.  His value certainly doesn't come from that.  His value comes from his red-zone skills (which he didn't have last year, for whatever reason). 

But, as far as I'm concerned, upgrading from him is one of my least concerns about the team.  In fact, I personally would rather prioritize adding more depth to the secondary over upgrading from him.  However, that may stem though from my own personal value of the TE position in the first place.  I don't place much value on it.  I never have, as it's just not that important of a position to me.  It'd be nice to have a Gronk, a Kelce, a Ertz, or someone of that ilk, but it's not critical.  A Rudolph is just fine, as far as I'm concerned.

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18 minutes ago, swede700 said:

To be frank, I wouldn't defend that comment that his value comes from his blocking skills, because it's flat untrue.  His value certainly doesn't come from that.  His value comes from his red-zone skills (which he didn't have last year, for whatever reason). 

But, as far as I'm concerned, upgrading from him is one of my least concerns about the team.  In fact, I personally would rather prioritize adding more depth to the secondary over upgrading from him.  However, that may stem though from my own personal value of the TE position in the first place.  I don't place much value on it.  I never have, as it's just not that important of a position to me.  It'd be nice to have a Gronk, a Kelce, a Ertz, or someone of that ilk, but it's not critical.  A Rudolph is just fine, as far as I'm concerned.

If it's not that important of a position, what's your rationale for keeping Rudolph at $8m. Or even $4m?

If it's not that important of a position, why not start Morgan, who is on a cheap rookie deal and excels as a blocker.

I think there is value in having a TE who can beat Safetys and LBs down the seam. It will open up the run game and prevent defenses from getting ultra focused on Diggs and Thielen.

Id prioritize OL and DL depth, but I'm taking a good TE before I'm taking a WR3.

Edited by vikingsrule

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3 minutes ago, swede700 said:

However, that may stem though from my own personal value of the TE position in the first place.  I don't place much value on it.  I never have, as it's just not that important of a position to me.  It'd be nice to have a Gronk, a Kelce, a Ertz, or someone of that ilk, but it's not critical.  A Rudolph is just fine, as far as I'm concerned.

I agree that Rudolph is just fine. It is his salary that becomes an issue. If the team has a choice between keeping Rudolph and offering Saffold $9M for the year and thusly missing Saffold or dumping Rudolph and getting Saffold to agree to $11M for the year I let Rudolph go and replace him with Morgan and whoever else the team might get for the $5M leftover of Rudolph's salary. Even better, Rudolph just accepts a pay cut to $5M.

It would seem to me that if you don't place much value on the TE position you would be in favor of allocating less cap space to the position. The value of the position really depends on the vision for the offense. I don't know what Stefanski has in mind. Certainly the way they used the positions last year I do not believe it is worth paying $7M for the starter.

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1 hour ago, vikingsrule said:

If it's not that important of a position, what's your rationale for keeping Rudolph at $8m. Or even $4m?

If it's not that important of a position, why not start Morgan, who is on a cheap rookie deal and excels as a blocker.

I think there is value in having a TE who can beat Safetys and LBs down the seam. It will open up the run game and prevent defenses from getting ultra focused on Diggs and Thielen.

Id prioritize OL and DL depth, but I'm taking a good TE before I'm taking a WR3.

I lean towards @Cearbhall's position in allocating less to the position, but renegotiating with Rudolph to lower his cap number.  I think he's fine as is, though it being at a lesser number.  I don't necessarily like the allocation of $7.6M to him, but eating that cap number is better than releasing him and riding with Morgan in my opinion, because of the injury Morgan is returning from and the tendency that has been to run 2 TE sets.  I can't trust Tyler Conklin at this point.  Now, if the scheme has changed to the point that they are going to run more single TE sets (which is highly doubtful if Stefanski takes most of his offensive style from Shurmur), then my opinion likely changes, because Morgan, I believe is good "enough" to survive in a single TE set, but Conklin is not in a 2-TE set.  

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1 hour ago, vikingsrule said:

why not start Morgan, who is on a cheap rookie deal and excels as a blocker.

Because this team does not have any other viable #3 receiving option. 

Kyle Rudolph may not be a game breaking playmaker. But he’s is a very reliable pass catcher in the 5-15 yard, intermediate range. There’s value in that. A TE like Morgan doesn’t offer that value, as he’s a blocking TE who simply catches the ball from 5 yards and in, usually on checkdowns. 

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1 minute ago, SemperFeist said:

Because this team does not have any other viable #3 receiving option. 

Kyle Rudolph may not be a game breaking playmaker. But he’s is a very reliable pass catcher in the 5-15 yard, intermediate range. There’s value in that. A TE like Morgan doesn’t offer that value, as he’s a blocking TE who simply catches the ball from 5 yards and in, usually on checkdowns. 

Wasn't that mostly Rudolph's role last year, 5-10 yard checkdowns? If that's all we're getting from the position, I don't see why Morgan couldn't do it. Conklin might be okay, but obviously, preference would be for finding someone new in rounds 2-4.

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People do realize that Morgan doesn’t really run routes, right? Not even the short 5-10 yard variety.

All he’s really asked to do is run to the flat, or break off from blocking and provide an emergency outlet. He’s not actually asked to be a real tight end. So, why are people so eager to put him in that role?

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3 hours ago, vikingsrule said:

If it's not that important of a position, what's your rationale for keeping Rudolph at $8m. Or even $4m?

Consistent production year in, year out.  Those are guys hard to get rid of.

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I'm on the train for drafting a pass catching tight end who can stretch the field a bit. 

Ideally it's a player that can catch AND block. I'd spend an earlier pick on that. But if it's just a one-trick receiving pony, I'm fine with waiting until the mid to late rounds.

We're paying Kirk $84 million. Year 1 was a disappointment. Get the guy a line and two more weapons (WR3 & TE) and give him the best chance to live up to the contract (easier said than done). As in stands right now, teams can go all out to stop Diggs/Thielen and dare the o-line to block well enough for Cook and for Treadwell to make a play and for Rudolph to stay on his feet for more than a yard after the catch. It didn't work so well later in the season.

It's no mirage that 4 of the 4 teams in the AFC/NFC championship games have excellent offenses. We all know that defense can win you a Super Bowl but you need that offense to get you on the door step.

New England put up 78 points in their divisional and championship games and effectively outscored two good offenses then turned around and used defense to win the Super Bowl. What are the odds of them playing in or winning the Super Bowl if they just used defense to try and beat two offenses like San Diego and KC? Odds are one of the two teams outpaces the Patriots' defense and that's when it's nice to have an offense than can score.

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228

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Quote

 

*Here’s an interesting nugget from the SI media podcast that was posted on Wednesday: Host Jimmy Traina and guest John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal were talking about the NFL schedule and specifically Thanksgiving games, when Traina asked Ourand about the nightcap finale of the three-game slate.

“I didn’t actually write about this but I have heard that Minnesota vs. Philadelphia is one that’s in play,” Ourand said around the 32 minute mark, adding later: “It’s not dead set, but I’m told that it’s pretty likely.”

 

http://www.startribune.com/vikings-said-to-be-pretty-likely-to-face-eagles-on-thanksgiving-night-at-u-s-bank-stadium/505777822/

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