Mason Rudolph, QB
School: Oklahoma State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 235 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Matt Stafford
Mason Rudolph has been somewhat overlooked in the conversation of top quarterbacks. He too has his flaws but there is a lot to like about him as a quarterback. Rudolph was a 4-star prospect from Rock Hill, South Carolina and curiously did not receive any offers from South Carolina, North Carolina, or NC State. Those schools lost out as Rudolph went west to Oklahoma State and has balled out the past three seasons. Rudolph was able to put up prolific numbers due to the spread offense and the simplicity of the reads, routes, and concepts in the offense. He must learn how to play under center, progress through his reads consistently, move defenders with his eyes, improve his anticipatory throwing, and learn better pocket awareness as well as get the ball out in a more timely manner. He also has a lot to like. He looks the part, he has some of the best touch accuracy in this draft class, he has an NFL level arm, and he is not afraid to trust his receivers and threw all over the field. Rudolph similarly to every quarterback that will be taken before him will need time to adjust to the NFL and improve his technique but he has the physical tools that will may offensive-minded coaches excited about him and should be about to fit in offenses focused on the west coast, vertical, and Air Coryell concepts.
- Excellent size for the position.
- Good NFL arm strength and is able to get enough zip on it when it needs to go in a tight window.
- Plays with poise beyond his years in the pocket (sometimes to his detriment but we’ll get to that). Blocks out pressure around him and locks onto his target and delivers throws downfield.
- Some of the best touch accuracy in this class. If he sets his feet and the receiver is running a go or deep post 9.5 times out of 10 it's going to be right in his hands.
- Spreads the ball around and trusts his receivers to make plays. Production and efficiency improved every year in college.
- OKST offensive scheme ran a lot of one read plays. He wasn't asked much to progress through all his options. When he did his reaction time was noticeably slower and passes were more often than not incomplete. This will probably be his biggest challenge in the NFL.
- Plays with poise and calm but tests his luck a little too much. Pocket awareness is spotty at best and if he has to come off his main read he tends to hold the ball too long. This leads to sacks, fumbles, and interceptions.
- Overhand style throw motion and a base that doesn't always align affects his accuracy. His accuracy appears vertical with passes either sailing or bouncing at the feet of the receiver. I wouldn't be surprised if a QB coach works on his throwing motion the first few years.
- Inexplicably off target sometimes with balls being thrown behind his receiver. On throws that really need to be zipped in, he may struggle unless his velocity can improve with a more efficient throwing motion.
Let’s see his work:
Seeing this a time (or four) with Mason Rudolph...know thyself. pic.twitter.com/QCe3jgv3K0— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) February 9, 2018
Talk about dropping it in the bucket.— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) January 12, 2018
Passes over 20+ air yds:
Completion percentage 43.3% pic.twitter.com/FLsm3abl7M
Here is where Mason Rudolph struggles. Plenty of time but the ball sails on him and makes him pay. Lower body mechanics are a point of concern for teams at the next level. @49ersHub #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/8HYESZnSOE— John Tiberio (@JTiberio11) January 6, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Rudolph is a project but one I completely understand why NFL teams would be interested in. He seems to be polarizing as I have read opinions lamenting him as a future Pro Bowler and I have read others proclaiming him to be a system QB that will fail. I’m a bit higher on Rudolph than that but I think his career is going to be defined by his environment and how much he can soak up on the bench from the starting QB and staff. He has the physical tools but he will need a lot of time to get adjusted to more pro-style schemes and concepts. He isn't the best athlete either and it will take time for him to operate rollouts and play actions smoothly like we in Washington are used to seeing. The issues with his mechanics will have to be ironed out as well and may take time but could improve his accuracy and velocity issues dramatically. Rudolph is used to pushing it downfield and had solid size speed and slot options at receiver during his college career. I think it stands to reason that when he is ready to get his starting chance he will need a healthy variety of receiving options. He may need 2-3 seasons on the bench but I think he can become an average to slightly above average starter in the NFL. Alex Smith would probably be a great mentor but because of his accuracy, mobility, and timing issues, I’m not sure he’s the best fit at QB for what Jay Gruden likes to do.