Mason Rudolph – Quarterback
School: Oklahoma State University
Weight: 230 pounds
Mason Rudolph NFL Draft Profile
In a loaded quarterback draft class, Mason Rudolph flies a little under the radar behind the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Yet the former Oklahoma State Cowboy still maintains a quality skill set to be a formidable signal caller at the next level.
The first thing that stands out about Rudolph is his size. At 6 feet 5 inches tall and 230 pounds, Rudolph has the makings of a prototypical pocket passer. He also brings experience as a three-year starter in Stillwater. In his senior season, Rudolph amassed 4,904 yards passing, completed 65 percent of his passes and threw 37 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
Rudolph comes from a football pedigree, with his father Brett, a former college quarterback at North Carolina and brother Logan, a sophomore linebacker at Clemson.
A total of 42 games under his belt, Rudolph has the second most starts of the aforementioned prospects. Compared to Darnold, who has just under two seasons of playing time and last year’s first QB off the board, Mitchell Trubisky, with just one year as a full-time college starter, teams know what they’re getting with Rudolph. In each of his three full seasons at the helm, Rudolph improved his completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns each year.
Rudolph’s size and strength allow him to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the football. He doesn’t panic under pressure and waits for routes to develop down the field. He shows a fearlessness to step into throws with defensive linemen bearing down on him and doesn’t shy away from contact.
Not the fleetest of foot by any means, Rudolph does have the ability to move in the pocket to buy time. He also added 10 rushing touchdowns last season, giving offensive coordinators a wrinkle to add to their play calls.
Quarterbacks from these types of spread offenses usually need an adjustment period in the NFL. Take a look at 2016 number one overall pick, Jared Goff, for example. The Cal product never took a snap under center in college and rarely called plays in the huddle. Thus, Goff struggled as a rookie, before breaking through this past season.
Rudolph also played in the Big 12 where he saw a lot of vanilla Cover 4 zones that tend to leave wide open throwing lanes. In spite of his experience at the position, Rudolph will likely find himself behind a veteran while he develops in a pro offense.
Rudolph doesn’t possess nearly the same arm talent as some of his colleagues like Rosen or Allen. He relies heavily on the timing of the routes and struggles throwing into tight windows. With a little more attention to his footwork, Rudolph can learn to use his legs and body placement more to help drive some of his throws.
Not asked to run the most complicated of schemes, Rudolph could improve working through his progressions downfield. He has the tendency to zero in on his primary target. Bigger, faster defensive backs in the NFL will have much better recovery speed to disrupt those number one reads. As he continues to grow as a quarterback, he can start to use his eyes to fool cornerbacks and safeties trying to undercut routes.
Rudolph certainly looks the part of an NFL quarterback. His toughness to stare down the gun barrel amidst heavy pressure is admirable. He has sneaky athleticism and could be an even bigger threat if he learns to throw accurately on the run. Maybe not the most heavily touted prospect coming out of college, Rudolph could still become a viable NFL starter if he finds the right fit.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams With Need At Quarterback
Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots
2nd round, pick 43: New England Patriots