Rookie Rundown: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Rookie Rundown: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Mason Rudolph wasn’t slated to play in his first season but his redshirt was back in the closet once injuries forced him into service. While he only played three games, he led the Cowboys to a come-from-behind win over the Sooners. That alone helped him to assume a bigger role for 2015. Rudolph is the prototypical pocket passer. He was speculated to become a first-round pick if he had declared in 2016 as a junior but he drops to the second round in the quarterback-rich draft this year.

He was a two-time team offensive MVP and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Sammy Baugh Award. He finished his college career as the winningest quarterback in Oklahoma State history with a 32-9 record. He set OSU single-season records and career marks for passing yards, passing touchdowns, and passing efficiency. Rudolph led the FBS with 377 yards per game as a senior.

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 230 pounds
40 time: 4.9 seconds

Rudolph carries a perspective by some that he’s just a very good system quarterback that will likely translate into being an average NFL quarterback. Brandon Weeden also succeeded in the same offense. Then again – Rudolph did more in that offense than anyone else since Mike Gundy installed it back in 2001.

Mason Rudolph stats (2014-17)

YEAR
Games
Runs
Yards
TD
Passes
Comp
Yards
TD
INT
Total Yards
Total TDs
2014
3
14
-33
0
86
49
853
6
4
820
6
2015
13
67
-35
1
424
264
3770
21
9
3735
22
2016
13
83
61
6
448
284
4091
28
4
4152
34
2017
13
61
35
10
489
318
4904
37
9
5222
47

 

Pros

  • Prototypical height to stand tall in the pocket
  •  Progressed every season
  • Accurate passer that can buy time in the pocket and find the open receiver
  •  Produced two 1,000-yard receivers last year – both wideouts.
  •  11 of 13 games topped 300 yards last year. Five exceeded 400 yards
  • Quick release
  • Mature and intelligent – three years as a starter means ready to take an early role on NFL team
  • Not a great rusher but ran for 17 touchdowns
  • Throws a receiver-friendly ball
  • Excelled at Level 2 passes and connected well on deep passes

Cons

  • Lack of mobility could result in more sacks
  • Lack of mobility could lower pass efficiency since he doesn’t scramble often or well
  •  Better suited for vertical passing offense
  •   Decision making declines when forced from the pocket
  • Considered a “system” quarterback
  •  Lost 10 of 17 fumbles as a three-year starter

Fantasy outlook

Rudolph’s draft stock is all over the place. Most expect him to go in the second round where he could become a big value. This is a smart, experienced passer with the size that offenses crave. He’s a throwback considering the mobility of most college quarterbacks but Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have been successful despite their lack of rushing.

NFL teams expressing interest include the Chargers, Saints, Giants, Bills, and Patriots. He could step into an early role or make a very nice backup with future start-ability for teams looking to squeeze another season or two from their current starters – again the Chargers, Saints, Giants, and Patriots.

While Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen have commanded the most attention, Rudolph is still an option for a team wanting 2018 production.  Recent hype has seen Lamar Jackson rising in mock drafts but Rudolph rounds out the top six quarterbacks that have this draft considered to be one of the best for the position in many years.

 

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