Kyle Rudolph was asked Wednesday to name the NFL's best tight end. He didn't hesitate with his response.

"Me," he said.

The Vikings starter hasn't had the gaudy receiving numbers of some other tight ends; his best year was 2012, when he caught 53 balls on the way to the Pro Bowl. But Rudolph emphasized that blocking, and not just receiving, also helps define the position.

"There's a ton of talented tight ends in our game," Rudolph said after an event promoting Second Harvest Heartland and its Great American Milk Drive in St. Paul. "You have guys that play at a high level, like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis. But I would put myself up there with them.

"I feel as a tight end, it's extremely important to be a guy that can contribute in the running game and also in the passing game."

With Adrian Peterson in the backfield, Rudolph has done plenty of blocking in his first three seasons. But his receiving numbers could improve under Norv Turner, the offensive coordinator under new coach Mike Zimmer.

Turner is known for using the tight end as a target. Cleveland's Jordan Cameron caught 80 passes and made the Pro Bowl in 2013 with Turner as offensive coordinator. Before that, Turner was coach in San Diego, where Antonio Gates was a perennial Pro Bowl selection.

"If you follow his coaching career, all the places he's been, the tight end has been really important in his offense," Rudolph said. "I'm looking forward to being a part of that. ... My goal every year is to be the best tight end in the NFL."

Rudolph's quest was cut short in the eighth game of 2013, when a fractured left foot ended his season after 30 catches for 313 yards. But he said he's healthy and will have no limitations when offseason workouts begin Monday at Winter Park.