Questions Answered: Most Underrated Viking, Still a 9-8 Ceiling, Kyle Rudolph’s Free Agency

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – NOVEMBER 17: Irv Smith Jr. #84 and Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the May 13th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Q: I saw where Pro Football Focus considers Kirk Cousins the most underrated Vikings player. Who would be next after Cousins for this category?

Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson (94) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

A: We’d pick Dalvin Tomlinson.

He played nose tackle for the Giants in 2020, the Vikings flipped him to a three-technique in 2021, and he fired up a 74.9 grade from PFF.

Tomlinson isn’t overly flashy nor a self-promoter, so he doesn’t generate too much hype. But he’s a damn good football player. And he’ll move back to nose tackle inside the Vikings new 3-4 defense in 2022.

Q: After the draft and schedule release, do the Vikings still have an 8-9 win ceiling?

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell

A: All of the eight and nine-win hubbub is from sportsbooks.

The Vikings ceiling is higher than nine wins, but oddsmakers will believe it when they see it. You can shoot for the stars with your projections, but the general population classifies the Vikings as a mediocre football team.

Q: Do you think the Vikings will sign Kyle Rudolph as TE2 before the start of the regular season?

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the second half at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Matt Marton / USA TODAY Sports

A: If Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman were still in charge, yes. Otherwise, probably not.

We predict Rudolph will sign with a contender like the Bengals, Chiefs, or Broncos. Rejoining the Vikings wouldn’t be drop-dead surprising, but the men in charge are new. The era of welcoming back former players from the Spielman regime is likely done.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).