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Giants Now: 5 things to know about Kyle Rudolph


5 things to know about Kyle Rudolph

The Giants officially signed two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph to a contract on Wednesday, adding another talented pass-catcher to the offense.

Here are five things to know about the new Giants tight end:

1. Kyle Rudolph is entering his 11th season in the NFL after spending his first 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings selected Rudolph in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He started 132 of the 140 games in which he played, including 12 games in 2020. From 2015 to 2019, the veteran tight end did not miss a single game, starting 80 consecutive contests.

2. For his career, Rudolph has registered 453 receptions for 4,488 yards (9.9 yards per reception) and 48 touchdowns. He has proven to have very consistent hands, as he has fumbled the ball twice in 10 years. Over the last four seasons, he has dropped just two of his 233 targets.

3. Rudolph has twice been selected to the Pro Bowl, the first coming after the conclusion of the 2012 season. That year, the tight end started all 16 games and finished with 53 receptions for 493 yards (9.3 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns. He was named MVP of the Pro Bowl after catching five passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, which happened to come from the hands of Eli Manning.

His second Pro Bowl selection followed the 2017 campaign, when he once again started all 16 games and caught 57 passes for 532 yards (9.3 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns. In the Pro Bowl, Rudolph led all NFC pass-catchers with seven receptions for 70 yards.

Despite the two Pro Bowl selections, Rudolph's strongest season overall likely came in 2016. In 16 games that year, he had 83 receptions for 840 yards (both career-highs) and seven touchdowns.

4. As dominant as he has been on the field, Rudolph has been just as impressive off of it. The tight end was named the Minnesota Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, serving as the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee each of those years.

In 2017, he founded Kyle Rudolph's End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, providing hospital patients and their families a place to relax. Rudolph would go on to win the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Challenge, earning $25,000 from Nationwide to donate to the children's hospital.

5. Prior to joining the NFL, Rudolph played three seasons at Notre Dame and finished his collegiate career ranked among the all-time leading tight ends in school history. In 29 games for the Fighting Irish, he had 90 receptions for 1,032 yards and eight touchdowns.

During his junior season, Rudolph set the school record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end with 164 yards on eight receptions vs. Michigan. He became the first tight end in school history to start all 13 games as a freshman, and was the first freshman to ever start a season opener at tight end for Notre Dame.

Giants re-sign Devante Downs; played 16 games with 8 starts in '20

Downs, 25, played in all 16 games with eight starts in 2020. Downs finished the season with 27 tackles (21 solo), one quarterback hit, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery. He posted a season-high five solo tackles at Philadelphia on Oct. 22 and in the rematch with the Eagles on Nov. 15. Downs kept the Giants' first possession of the season alive when he recovered a muffed punt by Pittsburgh's Diontae Johnson in the season opener. The recovery led to a Graham Gano field goal.

Downs' 254 special teams snaps ranked third on the team behind Nate Ebner (328) and Cam Brown (314) and his six tackles tied Ebner, Brown and Corey Ballentine for third.

Downs joined the Giants' practice squad on Oct. 1, 2019 and the active roster three weeks later. He entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice by the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. He played 13 games over two seasons before the Vikings waived him on Sept. 24, 2019.

View photos of Giants linebacker Devante Downs.

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