The Pittsburgh Steelers surprised many when they spent their first of two third round draft picks on quarterback Mason Rudolph in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rudolph, who was considered a possible first round pick by many draft analysts, can be viewed as a steal, but it doesn’t make the fall to the third round any easier.
In a post-draft interview with the NFL Network Rudolph spoke about everything from being selected by a team like the Steelers, to playing behind Ben Roethlisberger and, most importantly, what he feels about having all those signal callers picked ahead of him.
On going to the Steelers, and it being a good ‘fit’:
“I do think it is a good fit. Ever since I started talking to them I thought it was a good fit. Felt I could provide a whole lot of value at whatever point they call my name. I know I’m going to go up there and compete my butt off starting tomorrow when I get my hands on the playbook and do everything I can to prepare as if I were the starter. It’s my job to learn the offense as quickly as I can.”
On having college teammate, and wide receiver, James Washington joining him with the Steelers:
“Unbelievable. I’m not sure when the last time that happened in the history of the modern era, but it certainly is a God thing and an unbelievable connection to keep building upon. I know we have a lot of reps in the tank, but we can always get better and that’s what we plan on doing.”
On being drafted behind the likes of Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and others:
“I had to wince every time I heard their names because I feel I stack up a whole lot better than all of them. I feel I bring a whole lot more experience and a whole lot more character to the table, but I couldn’t be more proud, and more blessed, to be where I am now and with the organization I am with. That’s just the competitor in you that feels you are the best and should be viewed that way.”
Check out the full interview below:
Clearly, Rudolph is a man who has a chip on his shoulder, a player who feels he was almost disrespected by being selected in the third round of the draft. Either way, whether you view Rudolph as the future of the quarterback position in Pittsburgh, or you see him as nothing more than a glorified backup, it sounds like he is a player who is willing to put in the work to be the very best he can be.
What will the future hold? There are so many variables in this equation; currently the best approach Rudolph can have is exactly what he said he is going to do — show up and work his butt off. But don’t think Rudolph doesn’t have an axe to grind with other quarterbacks who were selected ahead of him in the 2018 NFL Draft.