Mason Rudolph
The Steelers viewed Mason Rudolph as a First Round prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Many people did not view Mason Rudolph as the long term successor to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh when the Steelers drafted him in the third round. Rudolph was selected by Pittsburgh 76th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. It was clear they liked watching Oklahoma State because they picked James Washington too. The Steelers may have been higher on Rudolph than most anticipated.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported that the Steelers viewed Rudolph as a first round prospect.

That’s not what I saw in college. I saw a Bryce Petty clone. I think Rudolph is a classic Big 12 quarterback that can maybe carve out a backup role in the league. Pittsburgh obviously sees something more. To their credit, the Steelers are good at developing talent. Rudolph is a 6-foot-5 big quarterback that can spin it. He’s been groomed behind Big Ben. They at least have a plan in place so maybe he pans out.

The Minkah Fitzpatrick trade shows how much they like Rudolph. The Steelers are off to an 0-2 start to the season. They just gave up a first round pick for Fitzpatrick. That pick could be a top 5 or 10 pick at this rate. They obviously believe that Rudolph can right the ship. Either way, we’re going to find out. In brief action against the Seahawks, Rudolph threw for 112 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception.

Rudolph could be playing for the starting job. Roethisberger is going to be 38 next year. How much does he have left in the tank? Especially coming off the elbow injury. We will find out over the next few weeks if Rudolph can be the guy.