It’s become rare for a high-level quarterback prospect to serve as a spectator throughout his first season in the NFL.
More often than not, elite college gunslingers are drafted to teams in dire need of an upgrade at the position, and thrusted into a starting role, they often aren’t ready to perform well. That may prove true yet again this year, as the 2018 NFL Draft is loaded with quarterback options at the top of various draft boards.
Former Oklahoma State star Mason Rudolph is seldom, if ever, mentioned among the names projected to be taken in the top 10, but that may be a good thing. If Rudolph hears his name called toward the latter portion of the first round, there’s a decent chance he’ll suit up for a franchise with a capable quarterback at the helm, which would allow Rudolph to develop for a season or two behind the scenes.
With that in mind NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks detailed why Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers would be a perfect match.
“Big Ben said back in January he’s not looking beyond the 2018 season, refusing to put a timeline on how long he’ll continue to play. But with the well-worn QB having just turned 36, it’s time for the Steelers to plan for the future,” Brooks said. “Rudolph is a big, sturdy quarterback with outstanding intangibles and leadership skills. Although he lacks A-plus arm talent, he is an efficient passer with a game that’s ideally suited for a quick-rhythm system.”
Even if it be for just one year, Rudolph potentially landing in Pittsburgh would not only allow the Manning Award winner to develop behind a true starter, but more notably, he’d get to learn from a legend in Ben Roethlisberger.
After leading the college football landscape in 2017 with 4,904 passing yards, Rudolph still flying under the radar could prove to be a blessing in disguise, especially if it means that he begins his career on a team with a winning culture and a future Hall of Fame quarterback such as the Steelers.
Pittsburgh has the 28th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.