Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/21/12

The Minnesota Vikings are facing a strange, yet difficult, situation at training camp as they have five able tight ends on their depth chart.  Usually having great depth is a good thing, but most teams do not usually have more than three.  So who do they hold on to?

Kyle Rudolph is the number one tight end on the depth chart and is a second year player out of Notre Dame.  He backed up Visanthe Shianco for the majority of last year and played pretty well as he caught 26 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns.  He's also a big man as he stands six foot six inches and 259 lbs.  He is a big target and a great safety blanket for Christian Ponder and barring an injury, Rudolph will be the starter to begin the season.

Next up is another alumnus from Notre Dame in John Carlson.  Carlson is another big guy, and has shown that he has had success in the NFL as in 2009 he had 51 receptions for 574 yards and seven touchdowns.  Carlson spent last season on the Injured Reserve, but he will look to come back and challenge his Notre Dame brother.  Carlson is a Minnesota native, hailing from St. Cloud and should be happy to be home.  He will adjust nicely to the Vikings' system.

These two guys are pretty much set in stone to be the one-two punch for the Vikings' tight ends.  However, there are still three other guys on the depth chart.  These three guys may be fighting for one spot on the final roster;  Rookie Rhett Ellison, Allen Reisner, and Mickey Shuler.

All of these guys are young and tight end coach Jimmie Johnson is a huge fan of all of them.  They all have pretty much the same accolades and what it is going to come down to is who performs best in the preseason.  So far Ellison and Reisner are leading the way both with three receptions while Shuler only has one.  But, being a tight end is more than just catching a few balls here and there.  They need to be complete players according to Johnson.  It is looking like Ellison will make the cut just because he is a rookie and who knows, Reisner might surprise everyone and stay on the roster as well.  We'll see how these tight ends perform against the San Diego Chargers this coming Friday.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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